According to Article IV, Section 2(a)(1) of the California Constitution, “the Senate has a membership of 40 Senators elected for 4-year terms, 20 to begin every 2 years.” As a result, half of the State Senate stands for election every two years, at the same time that all 80 Assembly Members stand for election.
In addition, Article XXI, Section 2(d) includes these two provisions:
- (d)(6) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, each Senate district shall be comprised of two whole, complete, and adjacent Assembly districts, and each Board of Equalization district shall be comprised of 10 whole, complete, and adjacent Senate districts.
- (f) Districts for the Congress, Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
As a result of the interaction of these different provisions, there can be instances each ten years for a Senate District to either not have an elected senator representing areas of a district, or other instances where an area is represented by a second senator. This anomaly is corrected in the following election cycle (e.g., in 2024).
- Unruh Civil Rights Act in California - February 7, 2023
- Legislative Findings and Declarations Versus Intent Statements in California Legislation - February 6, 2023
- Drafting Checklist for Creating a New Entity in California - February 5, 2023