Arkansas General Assembly

Last updated

Arkansas General Assembly
91st Arkansas General Assembly
Seal of Arkansas.svg
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
History
New session started
January 14, 2019
Leadership
Tim Griffin (R)
since January 13, 2015
President pro tempore of the Senate
Jonathan Dismang (R)
since January 15, 2013
Speaker of the House
Matthew Shepherd (R)
since June 15, 2018
Structure
Seats135 voting members
  • 35 senators
  • 100 representatives
Arkansas State Senate partisan composition.svg
State Senate political groups
Arkansas House of Representatives partisan composition.svg
House of Representatives political groups
Elections
State Senate last election
November 6, 2018
House of Representatives last election
November 6, 2018
State Senate next election
November 3, 2020
House of Representatives next election
November 3, 2020
Meeting place
Arkansas State Capitol.jpg
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Website
www.arkleg.state.ar.us

The Arkansas General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Arkansas Senate with 35 members, and the lower Arkansas House of Representatives with 100 members. All 135 representatives and state senators represent an equal amount of constituent districts. The General Assembly convenes on the second Monday of every other year. A session lasts for 60 days unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Governor of Arkansas can issue a "call" for a special session during the interims between regular sessions. The General Assembly meets at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

State legislature (United States) legislature of a U.S. state

A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Arkansas State of the United States of America

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

Contents

History

The Arkansas General Assembly is authorized by the Arkansas Constitution, which is the state's fifth constitution. The first was constitution was ratified on January 30, 1836, and the current constitution was adopted in 1874. [1] The constitution has also been amended throughout the state's history since 1874. [1]

Originally, legislators met biennially, but today meet annually. [2]

In 1922, Frances Hunt became the first woman elected to a seat in the Arkansas General Assembly when she was elected to a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives. [3]

Frances Matthew Jones Hunt was an American progressive era politician who is best known for being the first woman elected to a seat in the Arkansas General Assembly. In 1922, Hunt was elected to a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Arkansas House of Representatives lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly

The Arkansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Arkansas. The House is composed of 100 members elected from an equal amount of constituencies across the state. Each district has an average population of 29,159 according to the 2010 federal census. Members are elected to two-year terms and, since the 2014 Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution, limited to sixteen years cumulative in either house.

Powers and process

The Arkansas General Assembly is responsible for making and amending the laws of Arkansas. The legislative process is similar to that of other state legislatures in the United States. Bills undergo committee review and three readings on the floor of each house of the legislature. The governor has veto power, but a simple majority of both houses of the legislature can override that veto. [4]

A majority is the greater part, or more than half, of the total. It is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements.

Legislators also select 20 state representatives and 16 state senators to serve on the Arkansas Legislative Council, which oversees the Bureau of Legislative Research and acts as an organizing committee for the legislature. [2]

Terms and term limits

Amendment 73 of the Arkansas Constitution, approved by voters in the 1992 state general elections, set term limits for Representatives and Senators. Representatives were limited to three two-year terms (six years); Senators were limited to two four-year terms (eight years). (Amendment 73 also set term limits for U.S. Senators and Representatives. That part of the Amendment was found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton . Section 4 of the Amendment included a severability clause so the remainder of the amendment remained in force.) This was largely obviated by Amendment 94 of 2014, which extended the total years that could be served to 16, in any combination of House and Senate seats.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Arkansas General Assembly, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (accessed April 28, 2013)
  2. 1 2 Arkansas Legislative Council, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (accessed April 28, 2013)
  3. "Women". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Arkansas: The Central Arkansas Library System. 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  4. http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/BOSTable3.16.pdf

Coordinates: 34°44′48″N92°17′21″W / 34.7467387°N 92.2892220°W / 34.7467387; -92.2892220