Legislature. Senate

Entity: 609
Entity Type: State Government


The Utah State Senate was established with the creation of the Utah State Legislature, in 1896, with the state's admittance into the United States and the passage of the Utah Constitution. The forerunner to the Senate was the Council, established with the Utah Terrtorial Assembly, created in 1850 with the passage of the Organic Act and the creation of the Utah Territory. The mission of the Utah State Senate is to assemble with the House of Representatives yearly (every two years until 1980) to create and pass laws that will aid the judicial and executive branches of government in governing the citizens of Utah.

Biography/History Notes

The Senate proposes, debates, and passes legislation. The Senate shall keep a journal of its proceedings, which, except in case of executive sessions, shall be published. The Senate can hold a trial of impeachment following a two-thirds vote of House of Representatives elected members. An impeachment conviction is gained through the concurrence of two-thirds of the elected senators (Laws of Utah, 1896, Constitution of the State of Utah, Article 6).

As of 1999, the Utah State Senate is a body of twenty-nine men andwomen publically elected to four-year terms. About half of the Senate seats are up for election every two years on an alternating basis. Each Senator represents a constituency of approximately 60,000 population. A senatorial district may be a county, a portion of one county or two or more counties, or a combination of both. The Senate is reapportioned as desired or as required by law to insure that each Senator represents as nearly as possible approximately the same number of constituents (Legislature, website, www.le.state.ut.us, May 1999). No person shall be eligible to the office of senator, who is not a citizen of the United States, twenty-five years of age, a qualified voter in the district from which he is chosen, a resident for three years of the state, and resident for one year of the district from which he is elected. The Senate shall determine the rules of its proceedings, and choose its own officers and employees (Laws of Utah, 1896, Constitution of the State of Utah, Article 6).