Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate is the upper house of the Legislature of the U.S. State of Michigan. Along with the House of Representatives, it composes the Michigan Legislature. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted.[1] The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws.

Michigan State Senate
Michigan State Legislature
Term limits
2 terms (8 years)
FoundedJanuary 26, 1837
Preceded byMichigan Territorial Council
New session started
January 9, 2018
Garlin Gilchrist (D)
since January 1, 2019
Majority Leader of the Senate
Mike Shirkey (R)
since January 1, 2019
Senate President Pro Tempore
Aric Nesbitt (R)
since January 1, 2019
Senate Minority Leader
Jim Ananich (D)
since January 1, 2015
Seats38 voting members
Political groups


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Michigan Constitution
Salary$71,685 salary/year + $10,800 per diem/year
Last election
November 6, 2018
(38 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(38 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative control
In God We Trust
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Michigan State Capitol
Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State Senate

The Michigan Senate is composed of 38 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of between approximately 212,400 to 263,500 residents.[2] Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately upon their election. As of 2018, Republicans hold the majority in the State Senate with twenty-two seats; Democrats hold the minority with sixteen seats. The Senate chamber is located in the State Capitol building.[2]


Members of the Michigan Senate are called senators. Because this shadows the terminology used to describe members of the United States Senate, constituents and the news media, using The Associated Press Stylebook, often refer to members of the Michigan Senate as state senators when necessary to avoid confusion with their federal counterparts.


Senators are elected on a partisan basis for four-year terms, concurrent with the election of the Governor of Michigan. Terms for senators begin on January 1 at noon, following the November general election and end on January 1 when their replacements are sworn in.[2]

Senate elections are always held two years after the election for President of the United States, with the next election scheduled for November 8, 2022.

Term limits

On November 3, 1992, almost 59 percent of Michigan voters backed Proposal B, the Michigan Term Limits Amendment, which amended the state constitution, to enact term limits on federal and state officials. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits, but ruled that the state-level term limits remain. Under the amendment, a person could be elected to the state senate two times. A provision governing partial terms was also included. These provisions became Article IV, section 54 and Article V, section 30 of the Michigan Constitution.[3]


Each senator must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and an elector of the district he represents. Under state law, moving out of the district shall be deemed a vacation of the office. No person who has been convicted of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the legislature.

Legislative session

For reckoning periods of time during which the legislature operates, each two-year period coinciding with the election of new members of the House of Representatives is numbered consecutively as a legislature, dating to the first legislature following Michigan's admission as a state. The current two-year term of the legislature (January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020) is the 100th Legislature.

Each year during which the legislature meets constitutes a new legislative session. According to Article IV Section 13 of the State Constitution, a new session of the legislature begins when the members of each house convene, on the second Wednesday of January every year at noon. A regular session of the legislature typically lasts throughout the entire year with several periods of recess and adjourns sine die in late December.

The Michigan legislature is one of ten full-time state legislative bodies in the United States.[4] Members receive a base salary of $71,685 per year, which makes them the fourth-highest paid legislators in the country, after California, Pennsylvania and New York. While legislators in many states receive per diems that make up for lower salaries, Michigan legislators receive $10,800 per year for session and interim expenses.[5] Salaries and expense allowances are determined by the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Any legislation pending in either house at the end of a session that is not the end of a legislative term of office continues and carries over to the next Legislative Session.

Powers and process

The Michigan legislature is authorized by the Michigan Constitution to create and amend the laws of the U.S. state of Michigan, subject to the governor's power to veto legislation. To do so, legislators propose legislation in the forms of bills drafted by a nonpartisan, professional staff. Successful legislation must undergo committee review, three readings on the floor of each house, with appropriate voting majorities, as required, and either be signed into law by the governor or enacted through a veto override approved by two-thirds of the membership of each legislative house.[6]


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of Previous Legislature (2014) 26 12 38 0
Begin 2015 session 27 11 38 0
April 12, 2016[7] 10 37 1
November 8, 2016[8] 11 38 0
March 2, 2018[9] 10 37 1
November 6, 2018[10] 11 38 0
Begin 2019 22 16 38 0
Latest voting share 57.9% 42.1%


The Michigan Senate is headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, who serves as President of the Senate but may cast a vote only in the instance of a tie.[11] The presiding officers of the senate, apart from the president, are elected by the body at its first session and serve until their term of office is up.[12] Majority and minority party officers are elected at the same time by their respective caucuses.[12]

The senate majority leader controls the assignment of committees and leadership positions, along with control of the agenda in the chamber.

Members, 2019-2021

DistrictSenatorPartyResidenceEligible for
re-election in 2022
1Stephanie ChangDemDetroitYes
2Adam HollierDemDetroitYes
3Sylvia SantanaDemDetroitYes
4Marshall BullockDemDetroitYes
5Betty Jean AlexanderDemDetroitYes
6Erika GeissDemTaylorYes
7Dayna PolehankiDemLivoniaYes
8Peter LucidoRepShelby TownshipYes
9Paul WojnoDemWarrenYes
10Michael D. MacDonaldRepSterling HeightsYes
11Jeremy MossDemSouthfieldYes
12Rosemary BayerDemBeverly HillsYes
13Mallory McMorrowDemRoyal OakYes
14Ruth JohnsonRepHollyYes
15Jim RunestadRepWaterford TownshipYes
16Mike ShirkeyRepClarklakeNo
17Dale ZornRepIdaNo
18Jeff IrwinDemAnn ArborYes
19John BizonRepBattle CreekYes
20Sean McCannDemKalamazooYes
21Kim LaSataRepBainbridge TownshipYes
22Lana TheisRepBrighton TownshipYes
23Curtis Hertel Jr.DemEast LansingNo
24Tom BarrettRepPottervilleYes
25Dan LauwersRepCapacYes
26Aric NesbittRepPorter TownshipYes
27Jim AnanichDemFlintNo
28Peter MacGregorRepRockfordNo
29Winnie BrinksDemGrand RapidsYes
30Roger VictoryRepHudsonvilleYes
31Kevin DaleyRepLumYes
32Kenneth HornRepFrankenmuthNo
33Rick OutmanRepSix LakesYes
34Jon BumsteadRepNewaygoYes
35Curt VanderWallRepLudingtonYes
36Jim StamasRepMidlandNo
37Wayne SchmidtRepTraverse CityNo
38Ed McBroomRepVulcanYes

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. "State Constitution of Michigan Article IV Section I". Michigan Legislature.
  2. "Senate Information". Michigan Senate.
  3. "Constitutional Amendments" (PDF). Michigan Legislature.
  4. Legislatures, National Conference of State. "Full- and Part-Time Legislatures". www.ncsl.org.
  5. Legislatures, National Conference of State. "Full- and Part-Time Legislatures". www.ncsl.org.
  6. "Citizens Guide". Michigan House of Representatives.
  7. Democrat Virgil Smith Jr. (District 4) resigned after pleading guilty to assault.
  8. Democrat Ian Conyers elected to succeed Smith.
  9. Democrat Bert Johnson (District 2) resigns.
  10. Democrat Adam Hollier elected to succeed Johnson.
  11. "Michigan State Constitution - Article V, Section 25". Michigan Legislature.
  12. "Senate Rules - Chapter 1, Section 1". Michigan Senate. Michigan State Senate. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  13. "Senate Leadership". Michigan Senate.
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