Arkansas General Assembly
|Arkansas General Assembly|
|Term limits:||2 terms (8 years) in Senate, 3 terms (6 years) in House|
|2015 session start:||January 10, 2011|
|Website:||Official Legislature Page|
|Senate President:||Mark Darr, (R)|
|House Speaker:||Robert Moore (D)|
|Majority Leader:|| Robert Thompson (D) (Senate),|
Johnnie Roebuck (D) (House)
|Minority Leader:|| Ruth Whitaker (R) (Senate),|
John Burris (R) (House)
|Members:||35 (Senate), 105 (House)|
|Length of term:||4 years (Senate), 2 years (House)|
|Authority:||Art 8, Section 3, Arkansas Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 |
17 seats (Senate)
105 seats (House)
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 |
35 seats (Senate)
105 seats (House)
|Redistricting:||Arkansas Legislature controls Congressional Redistricting, Board of Apportionment controls state legislative redistricting|
Article V of the Arkansas Constitution establishes when the General Assembly 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. 
Section 17 of Article V limits the length of sessions to sixty days, unless extended by a two-thirds vote of each legislative house.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 10 to March 10. The 45 calendar days that the Arkansas Legislature was in session during 2011 is tied with Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico for the shortest legislative session in the country.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the General Assembly convened for its Fiscal Session, meeting from February 8th to March 4th.
Role in State Budget
- Main article: Arkansas state budget
By the end of November of every other year, the General Assembly of Arkansas receives an biennial budget proposal from the Governor. The biennial budget proposal is for the next two fiscal years, which begin July 1st. The General Assembly then revises this budget over the course of the next couple of months. Sometime between January and April, the General Assembly votes on a budget. For a budget to pass, three-fourths of legislatures must vote in support of it 
Despite a nationwide economic downtown, the General Assembly of Arkansas has managed to pass a nearly balanced budget. Fiscal year 2010’s $4.6 billion budget estimated a $75 million deficit. This deficit will be filled by Arkansas’ recently established “rainy day” fund. 
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2010, members of the Arkansas legislature are paid $15,362 per year. They are also given per diem of $136 per day (in voucher form) plus mileage tied to the federal rate.
The $3,958/month that Arkansas legislators are paid as of 2010 is an increase over the $14,765/year that they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. The per diem has also increased from 2007 levels of $130 per day.
When sworn in
Arkansas legislators assume office on the first day of session. This is on the second Monday of January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
The Arkansas State Senate is the upper branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. The Senate consists of 35 members. Each member represents an average of 83,312 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 76,383. Service in the state legislature is part-time, and most state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. The 35-member Senate consists of eight Republicans and 27 Democrats. There are six women and four African-Americans.
The senators are elected for a four-years term, the Senate being renewed by half every two years. Therefore a Senate lasts two years with the same composition.
|Party||As of May 2015|
House of Representatives
The Arkansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly. The House is composed of 100 members elected from an equal amount of constituencies across the state. Each district has an average population of 26,734 according to the 2000 federal census. Members are elected to two-year terms and, since the 1993 Amendment 73 to the Arkansas Constitution, limited to three terms (six years). There are 11 African American Representatives.
The Speaker of the House presides over the body and is elected by the membership every two years. His or her duties include the supervision and directing the daily order of business, recognizing members to speak, preserving order in the House, deciding all questions of order and germaneness, certifying all measures passed, assigning committee leadership, and naming members to select committees. In the Speaker's absence, the Speaker Pro Tempore presides.
The Arkansas House of Representatives meets regularly every two years at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
|Party||As of May 2015|
Joint legislative committees
- Legislative Council, Arkansas Assembly
- ALC-JBC Budget Hearings Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Academic Facilities Oversight Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Advanced Communications and Information Technology Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Lottery Commission Legislative Oversight Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Game and Fish Commission Oversight Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance, Arkansas Assembly
- Boys State Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Code Revision Commission, Arkansas Assembly
- Community Services Oversight and Planning Council, Arkansas Assembly
- Economic and Tax Policy Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Electronic Records Study Commission, Arkansas Assembly
- Joint Energy Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Girls State Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Governor's Emergency Fund Review Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Joint Budget Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Joint Committee on Educational Facilities, Arkansas Assembly
- Joint Performance Review Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Legislative Facilities Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Legislative Printing Requirements and Specifications Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Public Retirement and Social Security Programs Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Public School and School Motor Vehicle Insurance Advisory Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Rural Fire Departments Study Committee, Arkansas Assembly
- Session dates for Arkansas legislature, 2010
- Arkansas House website
- South Carolina Policy Council "50 State Legislative Session Interactive Map," February 2011
- National Association of State Budget Offices, 2008 Budget Processes in the States, Pages 4-5
- Arkansas State Legislature, “Summary of Fiscal Legislation 2009,” May 6, 2009
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Population represented by state legislators
- Wikipedia: Arkansas General Assembly
- Wikipedia: Arkansas Senate
- Wikipedia: Arkansas House of Representatives
- Arkansas 86th General Assembly Official Site