Rhode Island Senate

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Rhode Island Senate
Rhode Island General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 6, 2015
President of the Senate
M. Teresa Paiva-Weed (D)
Since January 6, 2009
President pro Tempore
William Walaska (D)
Since January 1, 2013
Majority Leader
Dominick J. Ruggerio (D)
Since January 6, 2009
Minority Leader
Dennis Algiere (R)
Since January 7, 1997
Majority Whip
Maryellen Goodwin (D)
Since January 6, 2009
Seats 38
Senate diagram 2014 State of Rhode Island.svg
Political groups
Governing party

Opposition party

Length of term
2 years
Authority Article VI, Rhode Island Constitution
Salary Senate Member: $15,079/year Senate President: $30,158/year
Last election
November 4, 2014
(38 seats)
Next election
November 1, 2016
(38 seats)
Meeting place
Senate Chamber
Rhode Island State Capitol
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island Senate

The Rhode Island Senate is the upper house of the Rhode Island General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Rhode Island. It is composed of 38 Senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term. Rhode Island is one of the 14 states where its upper house serves at a two-year cycle, rather than the normal four-year term as in the majority of states. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve. The Rhode Island Senate meets at the Rhode Island State Capitol in Providence.

Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to executive departments, commissions, boards, or justices to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Senate leadership

The President of the Senate presides over the body, appointing members to all of the Senate's committees and joint committees, and may create other committees and subcommittees if desired. Unlike most other states, the Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island does not preside over the Senate, and is instead active in other areas such as state commissions on health and businesses. In the Senate President's absence, the President Pro Tempore presides.

The current President of the Senate is Democrat M. Teresa Paiva Weed of District 13 (Newport, Jamestown,). The current Senate Majority Leader is Dominick J. Ruggerio of District 4 (Providence). The Senate Minority Leader is Dennis Algiere of District 38 (Westerly, Charlestown).

Leadership positions

Committee leadership

Make-up of the Senate

2015-2016 Legislative Session
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Independent Vacant
End of previous legislature 29 8 1 38 0
End of previous legislature 32 5 1 38 0
Begin 32 5 1 38 0
Latest voting share 84.2% 13.2% 2.6%

Members of the Rhode Island Senate

Composition by municipality.
District Senator Party Representing
1 Maryellen Goodwin Dem Providence
2 Juan Pichardo Dem Providence
3 Gayle Goldin Dem Providence
4 Dominick J. Ruggerio Dem Providence
5 Paul Jabour Dem Providence
6 Harold Metts Dem Providence
7 Frank Ciccone Dem North Providence
8 James Doyle II Dem Pawtucket
9 Adam Satchell Dem West Warwick
10 Walter Felag Dem Tiverton & Warren
11 Christopher Ottiano Rep Bristol & Portsmouth
12 Louis DiPalma Dem Little Compton & Middletown
13 M. Teresa Paiva-Weed Dem Newport & Jamestown
14 Daniel Da Ponte Dem Pawtucket
15 Donna Nesselbush Dem Pawtucket
16 Elizabeth Crowley Dem Central Falls
17 Edward J. O'Neill Ind Lincoln
18 William Conley, Jr. Dem East Providence
19 Ryan W. Pearson Dem Cumberland
20 Roger Picard Dem Woonsocket
21 Nicholas Kettle Rep Coventry, Foster, Scituate&West Greenwich
22 Stephen Archambault Dem Smithfield
23 Paul Fogarty Dem Burrillville & Glocester
24 Marc Cote Dem North Smithfield
25 Frank Lombardo Dem Johnston
26 Frank Lombardi Dem Cranston
27 Hanna Gallo Dem Cranston
28 Joshua Miller Dem Cranston
29 Michael McCaffrey Dem Warwick
30 William Walaska Dem Warwick
31 Erin Lynch Dem Warwick
32 Cynthia Armour Coyne Dem Barrington
33 Leonidas Raptakis Dem East Greenwich
34 Elaine J. Morgan Rep Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, & West Greenwich
35 Mark W. Gee Rep North Kingstown, & Narragansett
36 James Sheehan Dem Narragansett
37 V. Susan Sosnowski Dem Block Island & South Kingstown
38 Dennis Algiere Rep Westerly & Charlestown

Key Senate Staff

  • Thomas Papa - Chief of Staff to the President
  • Kristen M. Silvia – Deputy Chief of Staff / Director of Legislation
  • Marie L. Ganim – Deputy Chief of Staff / Director of Policy
  • Edward M. Fogarty, Esq. – Chief Legal Counsel
  • Stephen S. Iannazzi – Special Assistant to the Majority Leader
  • Patricia McNeilly – Chief of Staff to the Minority Leader
  • Joseph R. Brady – Secretary of the Senate
  • John M. Roney – Parliamentarian of the Senate
  • Eugene I. Gessow – Senate Fiscal Advisor
  • Greg Pare – Director of Communications
  • John S. Baxter, Jr. – Director of Constituent Services
  • Edward Catone – Director of Senate Services


See also


External links