Governor of Arkansas
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$5,279,815|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Arkansas Constitution, Article 6, Section 2|
|Assumed office:||January 13, 2015|
|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 officer
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 History
- 11 Historical officeholders
- 12 Recent news
- 13 Contact information
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
The 46th and current governor is Asa Hutchinson (R). He was first elected in 2014 and took office on January 13, 2015. Hutchinson succeeded Mike Beebe (D), who was barred by term limits from running for a third consecutive term in the governor's office in the 2014 elections.
The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled "the Governor of the State of Arkansas."
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
Under Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution, the governor may not hold any federal office, any civil or military commission, any office in another state, or any other office in Arkansas concurrently with his gubernatorial term. Per Article VI, Section 5, the governor must be at least 30 years old, an American citizen, and a resident of Arkansas for at least seven years on election day.
No member of Congress, or other person holding office under the authority of this State, or of the United States, shall exercise the office of Governor, except as herein provided.
No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor except a citizen of the United States, who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been seven years a resident of this State.
Arkansas elects governors during federal midterm election years (e.g. 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034). The gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the second Tuesday in January following the election. If two candidates are tied after the general election, then a joint session of the legislature will choose the winner by simple balloting when the Arkansas State Legislature convenes.
- See also: Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2014
|Governor of Arkansas, 2014|
|Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State.|
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Arkansas governors are restricted to two terms in office during their lifetime.
|No elected officials of the Executive Department of this State may serve in the same office more than two such four-year terms.|
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article 6, Sections 12 to 14.
If the elected governor resigns, dies, is removed, or is otherwise unable to discharge the office, the lieutenant governor is the first to succeed, serving as the governor until an election is held. He also serves as acting governor if the incumbent is temporarily unable to exercise his office. The next in line is the speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives. In Arkansas, the lieutenant governor also serves as the president of the Arkansas State Senate.
If the next scheduled general election is more than 12 months away when the acting governor assumes office, he must call a special election, with a minimum of 60 days notice, run according to the same rules that administer a regular election.
The governor is the commander-in-chief of all the state's military and naval forces except when either force is already under federal command.
The governor must deliver periodic (traditionally annual) addresses to the legislature. These "State of the State" speeches concern the condition of the state and includes the governor's recommendation for specific policies and steps. He is required to deliver one such address at the end of his official term.
The governor has veto power over all legislative actions, including appropriation bills, concurrent orders and resolutions. In the case of orders and resolutions, the gubernatorial veto does not extend to an order to adjourn the legislature. Lawmakers may override a gubernatorial veto by a simple majority of both houses.
The Arkansas Constitution grants the governor, "power to grant reprieves, commutations of sentence, and pardons, after conviction; and to remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law." This power does not extend to cases of treason or impeachment. In cases of treason, the governor may grant reprieves with the advice and consent of the Senate. The governor must inform the legislature each time he grants a pardon, along with his reason for doing so.
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- issuing and authorizing all commissions and grants made by the state
- calling extraordinary sessions of the legislature
- adjourning either regular or extraordinary sessions of the legislature when the two houses are unable to pass a concurrent resolution to adjourn
- filling vacancies in the offices of Treasurer of State, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, and Attorney General, as well as any other offices that become vacant without an explicit legal course for filling the vacancy
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of Arkansas has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
Role in state budget
- See also: Arkansas state budget and finances
- Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in May of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in July.
- Agency hearings are held from August through October.
- Public hearings are held from October through December.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in November.
- The state legislature debates the budget from January through April. The budget must be passed by a three-fourths majority.
- The fiscal year begins July 1.
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.
Governor's office budget
The budget for the Office of the Arkansas Governor in Fiscal Year 2012 was $5,279,815.
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 2013, the governor's salary was $86,890.
In 2010, the governor was paid $87,352, the 49th highest gubernatorial salary in America.
The first Arkansas Constitution, ratified in 1836, established four-year terms for governors and the requirement that they be residents of the state for 10 years before election. The fifth constitution in 1874, following the American Civil War and Reconstruction, limited the executive's power while lowering gubernatorial terms to two years and changing the residency requirement to seven years. Amendment 63 to the Arkansas Constitution, passed in 1984, increased the terms of both governor and lieutenant governor to four years. A referendum in 1992 limited a governor to two consecutive four-year terms.
Partisan balance 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.
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
|1||James Sevier Conway||September 13, 1836-November 4, 1840||Democratic|
|2||Archibald Yell||November 4, 1840-April 29, 1844||Democratic|
|Acting||Samuel Adams||April 29, 1844-November 5, 1844||Democratic|
|3||Thomas Stevenson Drew||November 5, 1844-January 10, 1849||Democratic|
|4||John Selden Roane||January 10, 1849-April 19, 1849||Democratic|
|Acting||Richard C. Byrd||April 19, 1849-November 15, 1852||Democratic|
|5||Elias Nelson Conway||November 15, 1852-November 16, 1860||Democratic|
|6||Henry Massey Rector||November 16, 1860-November 4, 1862||Democratic|
|7||Harris Flanagin||November 15, 1862-May 26, 1865||Democratic|
|8||Isaac Murphy||April 18, 1864-July 2, 1868||Republican|
|9||Powell Clayton||July 2, 1868-March 17, 1871||Republican|
|Acting||Ozra A. Hadley||March 17, 1871-January 6, 1873||Republican|
|10||Elisha Baxter||January 6, 1873-November 12, 1874||Republican|
|11||Augustus H. Garland||November 12, 1874-January 11, 1877||Democratic|
|12||William R. Miller||January 11, 1877-January 13, 1881||Democratic|
|13||Thomas J. Churchill||January 13, 1881-January 13, 1883||Democratic|
|14||James H. Berry||January 13, 1883-January 15, 1885||Democratic|
|15||Simon P. Hughes, Jr.||January 15, 1885-January 17, 1889||Democratic|
|16||James P. Eagle||January 17, 1889-January 14, 1893||Democratic|
|17||William M. Fishback||January 14, 1893-January 18, 1895||Democratic|
|18||James P. Clarke||January 18, 1895-January 18, 1897||Democratic|
|19||Daniel W. Jones||January 18, 1897-January 18, 1901||Democratic|
|20||Jeff Davis||January 18, 1901-January 18, 1907||Democratic|
|21||John S. Little||January 18, 1907-February 7, 1907||Democratic|
|Acting||John Isaac Moore||1907||Democratic|
|Acting||Xenophon O. Pindall||1907-1909||Democratic|
|Acting||Jesse M. Martin||1909||Democratic|
|22||George Washington Donaghey||January 14, 1909-January 16, 1913||Democratic|
|23||Joseph T. Robinson||January 16, 1913-March 10, 1913||Democratic|
|Acting||William Kavanaugh Oldham||1913||Democratic|
|Acting||Junius Marion Futrell||1913||Democratic|
|24||George Washington Hays||August 16, 1913-January 10, 1917||Democratic|
|25||Charles H. Brough||January 10, 1917-January 12, 1921||Democratic|
|26||Thomas C. McRae||January 12, 1921-January 14, 1925||Democratic|
|27||Thomas Jefferson Terral||January 14, 1925-January 11, 1927||Democratic|
|28||John E. Martineau||January 11, 1927-March 4, 1928||Democratic|
|29||Harvey Parnell||March 4, 1928-January 10, 1933||Democratic|
|30||Junius Marion Futrell||January 10, 1933-January 12, 1937||Democratic|
|31||Carl E. Bailey||January 12, 1937-January 14, 1941||Democratic|
|32||Homer M. Adkins||January 14, 1941-January 9, 1945||Democratic|
|33||Benjamin T. Laney||January 9, 1945-January 11, 1949||Democratic|
|34||Sid McMath||January 11, 1949-January 13, 1953||Democratic|
|35||Francis A. Cherry||January 13, 1953-January 11, 1955||Democratic|
|36||Orval A. Faubus||January 11, 1955-January 10, 1967||Democratic|
|37||Winthrop Rockefeller||January 10, 1967-January 12, 1971||Republican|
|38||Dale Bumpers||January 12, 1971-January 2, 1975||Democratic|
|39||David H. Pryor||January 14, 1975-January 3, 1979||Democratic|
|40||Bill Clinton||January 9, 1979-January 13, 1981||Democratic|
|41||Frank D. White||January 19, 1981-January 11, 1983||Republican|
|42||Bill Clinton||January 11, 1983-December 12, 1992||Democratic|
|43||Jim Guy Tucker||December 12, 1992-July 15, 1996||Democratic|
|44||Mike Huckabee||July 15, 1996-January 9, 2007||Republican|
|45||Mike Beebe||January 9, 2007-January 13, 2015||Democratic|
|46||Asa Hutchinson||January 13, 2015-present||Republican|
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State Capitol Room 250
Little Rock, AR 72201
- The Washington Times, "Republican Asa Hutchinson sworn in as Arkansas governor," January 13, 2015
- National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, "State of Arkansas Funded Budget - Fiscal Year 2012," accessed May 28, 2013
- Arkansas Constitution, "Amendment 70," accessed July 6, 2011
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governor's Association, "Arkansas : Past Governors Bios," accessed February 5, 2015
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas Website, "Office of the Governor," accessed February 5, 2015
State of Arkansas
Little Rock (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of State | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Executive Director of Natural Resources Commission | Commissioner of State Lands| Director of Labor | Public Service Commission|