Arkansas State Senate
|Arkansas State Senate|
|Term limits:||2 terms (8 years)|
|2014 session start:||February 13, 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Paul Bookout, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Robert Thompson, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Ruth Whitaker, (R)|
| Democratic Party (13) |
Republican Party (20)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art 8, Section 3, Arkansas Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (17 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (35 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Arkansas Board of Apportionment|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Term limits
- 4 Senators
- 5 Senate committees
- 6 History
- 7 External links
- 8 References
The 87th General Assembly convened on January 12, 2009.
Article V of the Arkansas Constitution establishes when the Arkansas General Assembly, of which the Senate 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 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate will be in session from February 13 to March 13.
The main issue taken up by legislators will be Governor Mike Beebe's (D) $4.7 billion budget, which includes increases in Medicaid and education funding. Other issues include repealing a tax break for truckers and toughening sentencing guidelines for sex offenders.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 10 to April 27.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate convened for its Fiscal Session, meeting from February 8th to March 4th.
- See also: Arkansas State Senate elections, 2012
Elections for the office of Arkansas State Senate will be held in Arkansas on November 6, 2012. A total of 35 seats will be up for election. Although Arkansas senators typically serve four-year terms, they are elected to a two-year term during the first election of the decade. Thus, rather than only half of all senators being up for election, all sitting members will be on the ballot in November. The signature filing deadline is March 1, 2012, and the primary election will be held on May 22, 2012.
Arkansas State Senators are subject to term limits and may serve no more than 2 four-year terms. In 2012, 10 Arkansas State Senators will be termed-out.
- See also: Arkansas State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Arkansas State Senator were held in Arkansas on November 2, 2010. State senate seats in 17 of the 35 districts were on the ballot in 2010. The 17 districts where electoral contests took place in 2010 are: 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 34 and 35.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 8, 2010, and the primary election day was May 18, 2010.
According to Article 5 of the Arkansas Constitution, Arkansas state senators are each elected to four-year terms with term limits. However, in the first election after the census, all 35 seats will be up for election. The Senators "shall divide themselves into two classes, by lot, and the first class shall hold their places for two years only, after which all shall be elected for four years."
In 2010, candidates running for senate raised a total of $3,771,126 in campaign funds. Their top 10 contributors were: 
|Arkansas Health Care Association||$113,000|
|Arkansas State Farm Insurance||$39,500|
|Arkansas Realtors Association||$38,500|
|Harrison, Barrett E||$34,500|
|Morton, Michael S||$29,000|
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 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. For all special elections in the Senate, the county that first established the district is responsible for conducting 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: 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 senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2014|
The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate but only casts a vote in the case of a tie. In the absence of the Lieutenant Governor, the President Pro Tempore presides over the daily session who is elected by full senate caucus and is also the chief leadership position in the majority caucus.
As of 2012, members of the Arkansas State Senate 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 $4,088/month that Arkansas senators 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.
List of current members
The Arkansas Senate has the following nine standing committees:
- Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- City, County and Local Affairs Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Education Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Insurance and Commerce Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Revenue and Taxation Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee, Arkansas State Senate
It also has two select committees:
- Rules, Resolutions and Memorials Committee, Arkansas State Senate
- Efficiency Committee, Arkansas State Senate
There is one senate interim committee as well.
Women in the Senate
Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas was the first woman to be elected to the Senate. She was appointed in 1931 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Senator Thaddeus Caraway. She was then elected in 1932, and again in 1938 and served until 1945. Since then, 38 women have served in the U.S. Senate.
- Arkansas State Senate
- Official list of Arkansas state senators
- Vote Smart roster of Arkansas state senators
- Wikipedia:Arkansas Senate
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Session dates for Arkansas legislature, 2010
- Arkansas House website
- Arkansas News, "Fiscal session begins Monday with leaders watching calendar," February 12, 2012
- Term limits pg. 16
- Follow the Money: "Arkansas Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 10-2-118 and 10-2-119)
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 10-2-120(a)(1))
- Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statutes, 7-11-105 1 (a)-(c))
- State legislative term limits
- Arkansas Senate officers
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- Arkansas State Senate, History of the Arkansas State Senate
- United States Senate, History of the Arkansas State Senate
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|