Utah's Constitution provides that a part-time citizen legislature meets for 45 days each year, beginning on the fourth Monday in January. Members then return home to live under the laws they create. The Utah State Senate and House of Representatives together comprise the citizen legislature of the State of Utah.
The 60th Senate (2013) is made up of twenty-four men and five women with twenty-four Republicans and five Democrats. Their occupations include five attorneys, eight businessmen/women, three bankers, two former educators, one engineer, two CPA's, a homemaker, a pharmacist, a nurse, a doctor, a dentist, an orthodontist, a licensed social services worker, and a non-profit director. Nine of the 29 senators served in the House of Representatives prior to being elected to the Senate.
Senator Lyle Hillyard has the distinction of serving the longest in the Senate, 27 years thus far. He served two terms in the House of Representatives prior to his election to the Senate in 1984. Other senior senators (served more than two terms) include Senators Gene Davis, Peter Knudson, Scott Jenkins, Howard Stephenson, John Valentine, Curt Bramble, Allen Christensen, and Mark Madsen.
Do you want to serve? The state constitution outlines the qualifications to become a senator:
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident of the state of Utah for three years
- At least 25 years old
- A resident of the district from which they are elected for six months
- A qualified voter in that district
The 29 members of the Senate are elected to four-year terms, with half up for election every two years.
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