Arkansas House of Representatives
|Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||3 terms (6 years)|
|2014 session start:||January 14, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Davy Carter, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Bruce Westerman, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Greg Leding, (R)|
| Democratic Party (
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art 5, Arkansas Constitution|
|Salary:||$15,362/year + $136/day|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (100 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (100 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Arkansas Board of Apportionment and Arkansas Legislature|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Redistricting
- 4 Representatives
- 5 Standing committees
- 6 History
- 7 External links
- 8 References
In Arkansas, representatives serve two-year terms with a three term limit.
As of August 2014, Arkansas is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
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. 
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 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through May 17.
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. During the first budget negotiations of the year, the Joint Budget Committee rejected a pay increase for elected officials.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House of Representatives was in session from February 13 to March 13.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House of Representatives was in session from January 10 to April 27.
- 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.
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Arkanas 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.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 52||John Hutchison||0.4%||10,073||L.J. Bryant|
|District 69||Betty Overbey||1.6%||9,387||Dwight Hoyle|
|District 13||David Hillman||2.1%||9,591||Garland Derden, Jr.|
|District 61||Scott Baltz||2.9%||10,552||Lori Benedict|
|District 41||Jim Nickels||3.9%||12,892||Alan L. Pogue|
|District 73||John Catlett||4.3%||7,838||Mary Bentley|
|District 39||Mark Lowery||4.8%||12,758||Kelly Halstead|
|District 60||James Ratliff||5.5%||9,761||Ronald Cavenaugh|
|District 18||Richard Womack||5.6%||11,112||Fred W. Harris|
|District 58||Harold Copenhaver||6%||10,719||Jon Hubbard|
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: 
|2010 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Health Care Associations||$177,750|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$85,350|
|Arkansas Republican Party||$79,473|
|Arkansas Democratic Party||$75,250|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$73,000|
|Bryant, L J||$53,045|
|Arkansas Medical Society||$51,950|
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 contributions to House candidates was $5,071,811. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Health Care Association||$182,920|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$89,675|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$83,504|
|Smith, Scott A||$82,508|
|Southwestern Energy Co||$67,500|
|Arkansas Democratic Party||$52,500|
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 contributions to House candidates was $4,666,062. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Health Care Association||$155,050|
|Southwestern Energy Co||$116,450|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$89,100|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$74,125|
|Arkansas Democratic Party||$63,250|
|Arkansas Medical Society||$63,225|
|Arkansas Republican Party||$47,500|
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 contributions to House candidates was $3,956,366. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Health Care Association||$76,750|
|Arkansas Republican Party||$64,050|
|Sample, Betty Ann||$52,000|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$49,350|
|Wilkes & Mchugh||$47,000|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$45,750|
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 contributions to House candidates was $2,775,317. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Health Care Association||$58,450|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$56,650|
|Arkansas Republican Party||$48,650|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$32,250|
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 contributions to House candidates was $2,748,032. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|Arkansas Republican Party||$80,417|
|Conservative Leadership for Arkansas||$39,000|
|Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association||$37,000|
|Arkansas Democratic Party||$35,350|
|Arkansas Medical Society||$29,352|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$28,500|
|Arkansas Education Association||$26,049|
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.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, the Governor must call for a special election in order to fill the vacancy. The election must be called by the Governor without delay. For all special elections involving House seats, the County Board of Election Commissioners representing the vacant district must conduct the election. 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.
- 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.
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. 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.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of August 2014|
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.
|Current Leadership, Arkansas House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Davy Carter||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||Darrin Williams||Democratic|
|State House Majority Leader||Bruce Westerman||Republican|
|State House Minority Leader||Greg Leding||Democratic|
- 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.
The $15,869/year that Arkansas legislators are paid as of 2011 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.
The Arkansas House of Representatives has eleven standing committees:
- Advanced Communications and Information Technology
- Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- City, County and Local Affairs Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Education Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Insurance and Commerce Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Judiciary Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Public Transportation Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Revenue and Taxation Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
It also has two select committees:
- Management Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
- Rules Committee, Arkansas House of Representatives
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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official Website of the Arkansas House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Arkansas House of Representatives
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Arkansas House website
- arkansasbusiness.com, "Sine Die: Arkansas Lawmakers Formally End Legislative Session," May 17, 2013
- Arkansas online, " Legislative panel rejects pay rise for elected officials," January 16, 2013
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Arkansas House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2008 Candidates," Accessed May 28, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2006 Candidates," Accessed May 28, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2004 Candidates," Accessed May 28, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2002 Candidates," Accessed May 28, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Arkansas 2000 Candidates," Accessed May 28, 2013
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 10-2-118 and 10-2-119)
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 7-11-103(a))
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 7-11-105 1 (a)-(c))
- The City Wire "Census: Arkansas population up 9.1%," December 21, 2010
- About the Arkansas House of Representatives
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
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|