Arkansas House of Representatives

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Arkansas House of Representatives

Seal of Arkansas.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   3 terms (6 years)
2015 session start:   January 12, 2015
Website:   Official House Page
Leadership
House Speaker:  Jeremy Gillam (R)
Majority Leader:   Ken Bragg (R)
Minority leader:   Eddie Armstrong, III (D)
Structure
Members:  100
  
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art 5, Arkansas Constitution
Salary:   $15,362/year + $136/day
Elections
Last Election:  November 4, 2014 (100 seats)
Next election:  November 8, 2016 (100 seats)
Redistricting:   Arkansas Board of Apportionment and Arkansas Legislature
The Arkansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arkansas State Legislature. The House of Representatives consists of 100 members elected from 100 districts, which are apportioned on a one-person, one-vote basis. Each member represents an average of 29,159 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 26,734 residents.[2] The House convenes in regular session on the second Monday in January of every odd-numbered year to begin the legislative session.

In Arkansas, representatives serve two-year terms with a three term limit.[3]

As of January 2015, Arkansas is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Sessions

Article V of the Arkansas Constitution establishes when the Arkansas General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to convene. Section 5 of Article V establishes the beginning date for regular sessions, but this date has been changed by law (as Section 5 allows). Under the law, the Arkansas legislature convenes its regular session on the second Monday in January of every odd numbered year. The fiscal session is convened on the second Monday in February of every even numbered year.[4]

Section 17 of Article V limits the length of sessions to sixty days, unless extended by a two-thirds vote of each legislative house.

2015

See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions

In 2015, the Legislature is in session from January 12 through March 12.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2015 legislative session include Medicaid expansion, tax cuts, prisons, abortion, same-sex marriage and education reforms.[5]

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 10 to March 20.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included private option Medicaid expansion and a $5 billion proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The legislature also established an entrepreneurship program for college seniors called the Arkansas Fellowship.[6] Due to a 2008 constitutional amendment, sessions held in even-numbered years may only address financial matters.[7]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through May 17.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included an agreement on expanding the Medicaid program by providing private insurance for low-income residents, a two percent increase in per-student funding for public schools and a bill that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.[8] During the first budget negotiations of the year, the Joint Budget Committee rejected a pay increase for elected officials.[9]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House of Representatives was in session from February 13 to March 13.

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the House of Representatives was in session from January 10 to April 27.

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House of Representatives convened for its Fiscal Session, meeting from February 8th to March 4th.

Role in state budget

See also: Arkansas state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[10][11]

  1. Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in May of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in July.
  3. Agency hearings are held from August through October.
  4. Public hearings are held from October through December.
  5. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in November.
  6. The state legislature debates the budget from January through April. The budget must be passed by a three-fourths majority.
  7. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Arkansas is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[11]

The governor is required by statute to submit a balanced budget. The legislature is not legally required to pass a balanced budget, but the governor is required by statute to sign a balanced budget.[11]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Arkansas was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.[12]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: Following the Money 2014 Report

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[13] According to the report, Arkansas received a grade of B- and a numerical score of 82, indicating that Arkansas was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[13]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Arkansas was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[14]

Elections

2014

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Alaska House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 19, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 2, 2014.

2012

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives were held in Arkansas on November 6, 2012. All 100 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for the elections was March 1, 2012 and the primary date was May 22, 2012.

Arkansas state representatives are subject to term limits, and may not serve more than three two-year terms. In 2012, there were 23 state representatives who were termed-out.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.

2010

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Arkansas State Representative were held in Arkansas on November 2, 2010. State house seats in all 100 districts were on the ballot in 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates who wished to run in these elections was March 8, 2010, and the primary Election Day was May 18, 2010.

In 2010, candidates running for the House raised a total of $5,568,912 in campaign contributions. Their top 10 contributors were:[15]

2008

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 20, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $5,071,811. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2006

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 5, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,666,062. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2004

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 18, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,956,366. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

2002

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 21, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,775,317. The top 10 contributors were:[19]

2000

See also: Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 23, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $2,748,032. The top 10 contributors were:[20]

Qualifications

Article 5, Section 4 of the Arkansas Constitution states: No person shall be a Senator or Representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, nor any one who has not been for two years next preceding his election, a resident of this State, and for one year next preceding his election, a resident of the county or district whence he may be chosen. Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and Representatives at least twenty-one years of age.

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
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If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor must call for a special election in order to fill the vacancy. The election must be called by the Governor without delay.[21] For all special elections in the Senate, the county that first established the district is responsible for conducting the election.[22]

All special elections must be held on the Second Tuesday of each month. The only other dates an election can be held if the second Tuesday of the month falls on a legal holiday or is in June during an even-numbered year.[23]

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Arkansas legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Arkansas Term Limits Initiative in 1992. That initiative said that Arkansas representatives are subject to term limits of no more than three two-year terms.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2000.[3]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Arkansas

The Arkansas Board of Apportionment is responsible for redistricting at the state legislative level. This is one of 11 commissions nationwide that are responsible for redistricting.

2010 census

The Census Bureau releases population data to Arkansas the week of February 7, 2011. Arkansas' population increased by 9.1 percent to 2,926,229 between 2000 and 2010.[24] On July 29, 2011, the Board of Apportionment approved new state legislative maps by a 2-1 vote along party lines. The number of majority-minority districts in the House was reduced from 13 to 11.

Representatives

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of January 2015
     Democratic Party 48
     Republican Party 51
     Green Party 1
Total 100


The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Arkansas State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Arkansas State House.PNG

Leadership

The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body and is elected every two years by the membership. Duties on the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, deciding all questions of order, assigning committee leadership, and naming Members to select committees. The Speaker also appoints a Speaker Pro Tempore and may appoint Assistant Speakers Pro Tempore to assist in leadership duties.[25]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Arkansas House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Jon S. Eubanks Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader Ken Bragg Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Whip Jim Dotson Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Eddie Armstrong, III Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Whip Joe Jett Electiondot.png Democratic

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Arkansas legislature are paid $15,869 per year. They are also given per diem of $136 per day (in voucher form) plus mileage tied to the federal rate.[26]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Arkansas legislators assume office on the first day of session. This is on the second Monday of January.

Current members

Current members, Arkansas House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Mary P. Hickerson Ends.png Republican 2011
2 Lane Jean Ends.png Republican 2011
3 Brent Talley Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 DeAnn Vaught Ends.png Republican 2015
5 David Fielding Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
6 Matthew Shepherd Ends.png Republican 2011
7 John Baine Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
8 Jeff R. Wardlaw Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
9 Sheilla E. Lampkin Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
10 Mike Holcomb Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
11 Mark McElroy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12 Chris Richey Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
13 David Hillman Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
14 Camille Bennett Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
15 Ken Bragg Ends.png Republican 2013
16 Ken Ferguson Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
17 Vivian Flowers Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
18 Richard Womack Ends.png Republican 2013
19 Justin Gonzales Ends.png Republican 2015
20 Nate Bell Ends.png Republican 2011
21 Marcus Richmond Ends.png Republican 2015
22 Mickey Gates Ends.png Republican 2015
23 Lanny Fite Ends.png Republican 2015
24 Bruce Cozart Ends.png Republican 2011
25 John T. Vines Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
26 Laurie Rushing Ends.png Republican 2015
27 Julie Mayberry Ends.png Republican 2015
28 Kim Hammer Ends.png Republican 2011
29 Fredrick Love Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
30 Charles Armstrong Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
31 Andy Davis Ends.png Republican 2013
32 Jim Sorvillo Ends.png Republican 2015
33 Warwick Sabin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
34 John W. Walker Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
35 Clarke Tucker Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
36 Charles Blake Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
37 Eddie Armstrong, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
38 Donnie Copeland Ends.png Republican 2015
39 Mark Lowery Ends.png Republican 2013
40 Douglas House Ends.png Republican 2013
41 Karilyn Brown Ends.png Republican 2015
42 J.P. Bob Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
43 Tim Lemons Ends.png Republican 2015
44 Joe Farrer Ends.png Republican 2013
45 Jeremy Gillam Ends.png Republican 2011
46 Les Eaves Ends.png Republican 2015
47 Michael John Gray Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
48 Reginald Murdock Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
49 Marshall Wright Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
50 Milton Nicks, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
51 Deborah Ferguson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
52 Dwight Tosh Ends.png Republican 2015
53 Dan Sullivan Ends.png Republican 2015
54 Dave Wallace Ends.png Republican 2015
55 Monte Hodges Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
56 Joe Jett Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
57 Mary Broadaway Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
58 Brandt Smith Ends.png Republican 2015
59 Jack Ladyman Ends.png Republican 2015
60 James Ratliff Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
61 Scott Baltz Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
62 Michelle Gray Ends.png Republican 2015
63 James Sturch Ends.png Republican 2015
64 John Payton Ends.png Republican 2013
65 Rick Beck Ends.png Republican 2015
66 Josh Miller Ends.png Republican 2013
67 Stephen Meeks Ends.png Republican 2011
68 Trevor Drown Ends.png Republican 2015
69 Betty Overbey Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
70 David Meeks Ends.png Republican 2011
71 Kenneth Henderson Ends.png Republican 2015
72 Steve Magie Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
73 Mary Bentley Ends.png Republican 2015
74 Jon S. Eubanks Ends.png Republican 2011
75 Charlotte Vining Douglas Ends.png Republican 2013
76 Mathew Pitsch Ends.png Republican 2015
77 Justin Boyd Ends.png Republican 2015
78 George McGill Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
79 Gary Deffenbaugh Ends.png Republican 2011
80 Charlene Fite Ends.png Republican 2013
81 Justin T. Harris Ends.png Republican 2011
82 Bill Gossage Ends.png Republican 2013
83 David L. Branscum Ends.png Republican 2011
84 Charlie Collins Ends.png Republican 2011
85 David Whitaker Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
86 Greg Leding Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
87 Robin Lundstrum Ends.png Republican 2015
88 Lance Eads Ends.png Republican 2015
89 Micah Neal Ends.png Republican 2013
90 Jana Della Rosa Ends.png Republican 2015
91 Dan Douglas Ends.png Republican 2013
92 Kim Hendren Ends.png Republican 2015
93 Jim Dotson Ends.png Republican 2013
94 Rebecca Petty Ends.png Republican 2015
95 Sue Scott Ends.png Republican 2013
96 Grant Hodges Ends.png Republican 2015
97 Bob Ballinger Ends.png Republican 2013
98 Ron McNair Ends.png Republican 2015
99 Kelley Linck Ends.png Republican 2011
100 Nelda Speaks Ends.png Republican 2015

Standing committees

The Arkansas House of Representatives has eleven standing committees:

It also has two select committees:

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Arkansas
Partisan breakdown of the Arkansas legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Arkansas State House of Representatives for the first 21 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last year. The Arkansas State House is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. The final year of the study depicted a shift in the Arkansas House of Representatives which changed to Republican control for the first time.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Arkansas, the Arkansas State Senate and the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Arkansas state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Arkansas state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Arkansas has never had a Republican trifecta, but did have two Democratic trifectas, between 1992 and 1996 and also between 2007 and 2011. Arkansas has ranked in the bottom-10 of the SQLI ranking for each year of the study. Its highest ranking (41st) occurred in the early 1990s under a Democratic trifecta, while its worst ranking (47th) occurred in 1999 and 2000 under divided government. 2013 was the first year in which Arkansas’s divided government included a Democratic governor and Republican legislature. In all other years of divided government, Arkansas had a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 43.18
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with divided government: 45.30
Chart displaying the partisanship of Arkansas government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arkansas State Constitution, pg. 16, accessed December 16, 2013
  4. Arkansas House website
  5. Houston Chronicle, "Things to watch in 2015 Arkansas legislative session," January 10, 2015
  6. The Arkansas Traveler, "Arkansas State Legislature Creates Entrepreneurship Program for College Seniors," accessed May 9, 2014
  7. akrnasasbusiness.com, "Fiscal Session 2014: A User's Guide to the Arkansas Legislature," February 10, 2014
  8. arkansasbusiness.com, "Sine Die: Arkansas Lawmakers Formally End Legislative Session," May 17, 2013 (dead link)
  9. Arkansas online, " Legislative panel rejects pay rise for elected officials," January 16, 2013
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  12. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  14. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  15. Follow the Money: "Arkansas House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  16. Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2008 Candidates," accessed May 28, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2006 Candidates," accessed May 28, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2004 Candidates," accessed May 28, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2002 Candidates," accessed May 28, 2013
  20. Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2000 Candidates," accessed May 28, 2013
  21. Arkansas Legislature, "Arkansas Code - Unannotated," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statutes, 10-2-118 and 10-2-119)
  22. Arkansas Legislature, "Arkansas Code - Unannotated," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statutes, 10-2-120(a)(1))
  23. Arkansas Legislature, "Arkansas Code - Unannotated," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statutes, 7-11-105 1 (a)-(c))
  24. The City Wire, "Census: Arkansas population up 9.1%," December 21, 2010
  25. About the Arkansas House of Representatives
  26. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013