Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands
|Arkansas Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2014 FY FY Budget:||$32,307,367|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Arkansas Constitution, Article 6, Section 1|
|Assumed office:||January 11, 2011|
|Next election:||November 6, 2018|
|Last election:||November 4, 2014|
|Other Arkansas Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Secretary • Insurance Commissioner • Commissioner of State Lands • Natural Resources Exec. Director • Labor Director • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 Recent news
- 12 Contact information
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
The current Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands is John Thurston. He was elected in 2010, and is the first Republican to hold the position since 1847 when it became an elected office. Thurston won re-election to a second term in 2014.
Article 6, Section 1:
|The executive department of this State shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State and Attorney General, all of whom shall keep their offices in person at the seat of government and hold their offices for the term of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified, and the General Assembly may provide by law for the establishment of the office of Commissioner of State Lands.|
There are no specific qualifications for the office of Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands.
Arkansas elects the Commissioner of State Lands every four years in midterm elections, not during presidential election years. For the state of Arkansas, Commissioner of State Lands election years included: 2010, 2014, 2018, etc.
|Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, 2014|
|Republican||John Thurston Incumbent||57.2%||471,848|
|Libertarian||Elvis D. Presley||6.2%||51,518|
|Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State.|
According to Amendment 73 of the Arkansas Constitution, Arkansas Commissioners of Lands are elected to four-year terms and are life-time limited to two terms. Prior to the passage of the amendment in 1992, there were no term limits.
According to Article 6, Section 23 of the Arkansas Constitution, a vacancy in the office of Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands can be filled by gubernatorial appointment. The appointment lasts until the next general election.
- See Energy policy in Arkansas for information on the state's energy portfolio and goals.
The Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands controls all landed interests of the state of Arkansas. This includes all lands forfeited to the state for payment of taxes. These lands can be sold, or they may be donated to state agencies, state colleges and universities and local governments for public use. If the state claims land and there is dispute about the accuracy of the claim location, the Commissioner of State Lands is in charge of surveying those lands to make an accurate claim for the state.
The Commissioner's office also is in charge of mineral leasing for most state owned lands and waterways. The Commissioner serves as the chairperson for the Natural Resources Commission. The Commission seeks to benefit the state through land leases while also protecting the environment.
Additionally, the commissioner has duties pertaining to historical preservation. This includes being in charge of materials (including books, maps, plats, etc.) pertaining to "all internal improvement, seminary, saline, and swamp and overflowed lands." The commissioner also has the responsibility to produce township maps for any township including the previously mentioned land types. These maps can be used by anyone "interested in state lands or desiring to purchase any state lands."
- Real Estate
- Mineral Leasing/Natural Resources
- History and Archives
The budget for the Office of the Commissioner of State Lands was $32,307,367 for the 2014 fiscal year.
The compensation of all state constitutional officers is set by Amendment 70 to the Arkansas Constitution. Salaries can be adjusted each year by the Arkansas State Legislature, though salary increases cannot exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
In 2014, the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands received a salary of $54,847.92.
The Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands was paid $54,304.80 for the 2013 fiscal year.
There have been 26 Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands since 1868. Of the 26 officeholders, 21 were Democratic, one was Republican and two were appointed. The remaining two had no political affiliation because the office was not an elected position at the time.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1862-Present|
|1||J. M. Lewis||1868-1872||NA|
|2||W. H. Grey||1872-1874||NA|
|3||J. N. Smithee||1874-1878||Democratic|
|4||D. W. Lear||1878-1882||Democratic|
|5||William P. Campbell||1882-1884||Democratic|
|6||Paul M. Cobbs||1884-1890||Democratic|
|7||C. B. Meyers||1890-1894||Democratic|
|8||J. F. Ritchie||1894-1898||Democratic|
|9||J. W. Colquitt||1898-1902||Democratic|
|10||F. E. Conway||1902-1906||Democratic|
|11||Lafayette L. Coffman||1906-1910||Democratic|
|12||Reuben G. Dye||1910-1914||Democratic|
|13||W. B. Owen||1914-1921||Democratic|
|14||Herbert R. Wilson||1921-1927||Democratic|
|15||Dwight H. Blackwood||1927-1929||Democratic|
|17||George W. Neal||1933-1937||Democratic|
|21||Jimmie “Red” Jones||1954-1957||Appointed|
|23||W. J. “Bill” McCuen||1981-1985||Democratic|
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Commissioner of State Lands
109 State Capitol Bldg Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
- Office of the Commissioner of State Lands, State of Arkansas official website
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture - Entry on Office of Commissioner of State Lands
- Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, " Homepage," accessed December 4, 2013
- Commissioner of State Lands, "John Thurston, Commissioner of State Lands," accessed August 12, 2013 (dead link)
- Constitution of the State of Arkansas of 1874, "Amendment 73," pg 138, accessed August 12, 2013
- Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition, "A.C.A. § 22-5-206 (2012)," accessed August 13, 2013
- Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition, "A.C.A. § 22-5-207 (2012)," accessed August 13, 2013
- A Snapshot of Excellence, Year One, "Donations," accessed August 13, 2013 (dead link)
- Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition, "A.C.A. § 22-5-304 (2012)," accessed August 13, 2013
- Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition, "A.C.A. § 22-5-208 (2012)," accessed August 13, 2013
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, "State of Arkansas Appropriation Summary, Fiscal Year 2014," accessed August 13, 2013
- Arkansas Constitution, "Amendment 70," accessed July 6, 2011
- Arkansas Online, "Right 2 Know State Salaries 2014," accessed November 26, 2014
- Arkansas Online, "Right 2 Know State Salaries 2012-2013," accessed August 13, 2013
- The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, "Commissioner of State Lands, Office of," accessed August 13, 2013