Kentucky Senate

The Kentucky Senate is the upper house of the Kentucky General Assembly. The Kentucky Senate is composed of 38 members elected from single-member districts throughout the Commonwealth. There are no term limits for Kentucky Senators. The Kentucky Senate meets at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

Kentucky State Senate
Kentucky General Assembly
Term limits
New session started
January 8, 2019
Robert Stivers (R)
since January 4, 2013
President pro Tempore
David P. Givens (R)
since January 6, 2015
Majority Leader
Damon Thayer (R)
since January 4, 2013
Minority Leader
Morgan McGarvey (D)
since January 8, 2019
Political groups


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityThe Legislative Department, Section 29, Kentucky Constitution
Salary$186.73/day + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2018
(19 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(19 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Kentucky State Capitol
Frankfort, Kentucky
Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

Terms and qualifications

According to Section 32 of the Kentucky Constitution, a state senator must:

  • be at least 30 years old;
  • be a citizen of Kentucky;
  • have resided in the state at least six years and the district at least one year prior to election.

Per section 30 of the Kentucky Constitution, senators are elected to four year staggered terms, with half the Senate elected every two years.


Prior to a 1992 constitutional amendment, the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky presided over the Senate; the 1992 amendment created a new office of President of the Senate to be held by one of the 38 senators.


Additionally, each political party elects a floor leader, whip, and caucus chairman.

Current party leadership of the Kentucky Senate:


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of previous legislature 27 11 38 0
Begin 2019 Session[2] 28 9 37 1
March 5, 2019[3] 29 9 38 0
Latest voting share 76.32% 23.68%

List of current Senators

As of 10 January 2019:[4]

District Senator Party Hometown Counties in Senate District Since Committee Chair
1 Stanley H. Humphries Rep Cadiz Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, Trigg 2013
2 Danny Carroll Rep Paducah Ballard, McCracken, Marshall 2015
3 Whitney Westerfield Rep Hopkinsville Christian, Logan, Todd 2013 Judiciary
4 Robby Mills Rep Princeton Caldwell, Crittenden, Henderson, Livingston, Henderson, Henderson 2018
5 Stephen Meredith Rep Leitchfield Breckinridge, Grayson, Hancock, Hart, LaRue, Meade 2016
6 C.B. Embry Jr. Rep Morgantown Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Ohio 2015
7 Julian Carroll Dem Frankfort Anderson, Fayette, Franklin, Woodford 2005
8 Matt Castlen Rep Sorgho Daviess, McLean 2018 State & Local Government
9 David P. Givens Rep Greensburg Allen, Barren, Edmonson, Green, Metcalfe, Simpson 2009
10 Dennis Parrett Dem Elizabethtown Hardin, Jefferson 2011
11 John Schickel Rep Union Boone, Gallatin, Kenton 2009 Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations
12 Alice Forgy Kerr Rep Lexington Fayette 1999 Economic Development, Tourism & Labor
13 Reggie Thomas Dem Lexington Fayette 2013
14 Jimmy Higdon Rep Lebanon Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor, Washington 2009 Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection
15 Rick Girdler Rep Somerset Adair, Casey, Pulaski, Russell 2017 Capital Projects
16 Max Wise Rep Campbellsville Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Monroe, Wayne, Whitley 2015
17 Damon Thayer Rep Georgetown Grant, Kenton, Owen, Scott 2003
18 Robin L. Webb Dem Grayson Bracken, Carter, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Robertson 2009
19 Morgan McGarvey Dem Louisville Jefferson 2013
20 Paul Hornback Rep Shelbyville Bullitt, Shelby, Spencer 2011 Agriculture
21 Albert Robinson Rep London Estil, Jackson, Laurel, Menifee, Powell 2005 (1989–96)
22 Tom Buford Rep Nicholasville Boyle, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine 1991 Banking & Insurance
23 Christian McDaniel Rep Taylor Mill Kenton 2013
24 Wil Schroder Rep Wilder Campbell, Pendleton 2015
25 Robert Stivers II Rep Manchester Clay, Knox, Lee, Magoffin, Morgan, Owsley, Wolfe 1997
26 Ernie Harris Rep Crestwood Carroll, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Trimble 1995 Transportation
27 Steve West Rep Millersburg Bourbon, Fleming, Harrison, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Robertson, Rowan 2015
28 Ralph Alvarado Rep Winchester Bath, Bourbon, Clark, Harrison, Montgomery, Nicholas, Fayette 2015
29 Johnny Ray Turner Dem Drift Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Letcher 2001
30 Brandon Smith Rep Hazard Bell, Harlan, Leslie, Perry 2008 (2001–08)
31 Philip Wheeler Rep Pikeville Pike, Martin, Lawrence, Elliott, Morgan 2019
32 Mike Wilson Rep Bowling Green Butler, Warren 2011 Education
33 Gerald Neal Dem Louisville Jefferson 1989
34 Jared Carpenter Rep Berea Lincoln, Madison, Rockcastle 2011 Natural Resources, and Energy
35 Denise Harper Angel Dem Louisville Jefferson 2005
36 Julie Raque Adams Rep Louisville Jefferson 2015 (2011-2015)
37 Perry B. Clark Dem Louisville Jefferson County, KY 2006 (1995-06)
38 Dan "Malano" Seum Rep Louisville Jefferson 1995 (1982–88, 1989–92)


Carolyn Conn Moore became the first woman to serve in the Kentucky Senate when in November 1949 she won a special election to replace her husband, J. Lee Moore, in the legislature after his death.[5] Gerald Neal became the first African-American to be elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1988. Gerald Neal also became the first African-American ever to be elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky General Assembly in 2014. [6]

Standing Committees

As of 16 July 2018.[7]

Committee Chair Vice Chair
Agriculture Paul Hornback (R-20) Steve West (R-27)
Appropriations and Revenue Christian McDaniel (R-23) Stan Humphries (R-1)
Banking and Insurance Tom Buford (R-22) Jared Carpenter (R-34)
Committee on Committees Robert Stivers (R-29) N/A
Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Alice Forgy Kerr (R-12) Rick Girdler (R-15)
Education Max Wise (R-16) Steve West (R-27)
Enrollment Wil Schroder (R-24) N/A
Health and Welfare Julie Raque Adams (R-36) Ralph Alvarado (R-28)
Judiciary Whitney Westerfield (R-3) Wil Schroder (R-24)
Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations John Schickel (R-11) Paul Hornback (R-20)
Natural Resources and Energy Jared Carpenter (R-24) Brandon Smith (R-30)
Rules Robert Stivers (R-29) N/A
State and Local Government Joe Bowen (R-8) Stan Humphries (R-1)
Transportation Ernie Harris (R-26) Brandon Smith (R-30)
Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Albert Robinson (R-21) C.B. Embry Jr. (R-6)

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. "Dennis Parrett accepts leadership role in state Senate".
  2. Senator Ray Jones (D-31) resigned prior to the beginning of the legislative session to assume office as Pike County Judge/Executive.
  3. Republican Philip Wheeler won a special election to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Ray Jones (D-31).
  4. "Senate: Members By District". Kentucky Legislature. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  5. Oswald, Sharon (January 5, 1977). "From senate to housemother, Mrs. Moore is mother of 110". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa: The Tuscaloosa News. p. 8. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  6. Lawrence Smith (December 2, 2014). "Louisvill state senator becomes first African-American elected to leadership in KY legislature". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. "2018 Senate Standing Committees". Kentucky Legislature. Retrieved July 16, 2018.

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