This article needs to be updated.January 2015)(
|91st Arkansas General Assembly|
|16 years (both houses)|
New session started
|January 12, 2015|
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Length of term
|Authority||Article 8, Section 2, Arkansas Constitution|
|Salary||$39,399.84/year + per diem|
|November 8, 2016|
|November 6, 2018|
|Redistricting||Arkansas Board of Apportionment and Arkansas General Assembly|
|State Senate Chamber|
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas
|Arkansas State Senate|
The Arkansas Senate is the upper branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. The Senate consists of 35 members, each representing a district with about 83,000 people. Service in the state legislature is part-time, and many state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. During the current term, the Senate contains twenty-six Republicans, and nine Democrats.
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.
The Ninety-First Arkansas General Assembly was the legislative body of the state of Arkansas in 2017 and 2018. In this General Assembly, the Arkansas Senate and Arkansas House of Representatives were both controlled by the Republicans. In the Senate, 23 senators were Republicans, 11 were Democrats, and one position was vacant until April. In the House, 69 representatives were Republicans, 30 were Democrats, and one was independent.
The Arkansas Senate was created and re-created by five separate constitutions, the first of which was ratified on January 30, 1836, and the fifth and current of which was adopted in 1874.The reason for so many constitutions is in part because of the secession of Arkansas from the United States during the time of the American Civil War and the aftermath of the war. The constitution has also changed over time through numerous amendments.
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
In 1947, the Arkansas Legislative Council committee was created to collect data for legislators and oversee the Bureau of Legislative Research, which is composed of professional, nonpartisan staff to aid in the legislative process. The committee consists of 36 legislators, 16 of which are state senators.
In 1964, Dorathy M. Allen became the first woman elected to the Arkansas Senate.During her time in office, she was the only female in the Arkansas Senate.
Dorathy Allen was an American newspaper editor and publisher, and Democratic Party politician. Allen is most remembered as the first woman to be elected to the Arkansas State Senate. Allen represented District 26 which included Monroe, Lee, Arkansas, and Phillips counties. Her first election to the Senate was a special election in 1964 to replace the open seat left by the death of her husband, State Senator Tom Allen. She ran unopposed in 1966 and 1970. During her time in office, she was the only female in the Arkansas State Senate.
Originally, legislators met biennially. A 2008 ballot proposal approved by voters created annual legislative sessions.In 1992, voters approved term limits, limiting state senators to two four-year terms. In 2014, term limits were extended to 16 years cumulative in either house.
Arkansas state senators are responsible for making and amending the laws of Arkansas in collaboration with the Arkansas House of Representatives and the governor. Senators begin the legislative process by submitting bill requests to the staff of the Bureau of Legislative Research that drafts a bill to conform to the author's intent. Bills are then filed with the Secretary of the Arkansas Senate or an assistant secretary of the Arkansas Senate.The legislative process during the legislative session mirrors that of other state legislatures in the United States. Bills are introduced on First Reading and assigned to a committee, vetted by the committee, undergo Second and Third Readings on the floor of the Senate, go to the opposite house of the legislature, and return or go directly to the governor. The governor has veto power, but two-thirds of the membership of both houses of the legislature can override that veto.
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.
State senators are also responsible for approving the governor's appointments and 16 members of the Arkansas Senate serve on the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Joint Auditing Committee.The Arkansas Legislative Council oversees the Bureau of Legislative Research, which provides professional support services for legislators. It also acts as an organizing committee and members on the council exert a greater degree of influence over the legislative process and outcome.
The senators are usually elected for four-year terms. After the U.S. Census every ten years, all Senate districts are redrawn to ensure that they each have approximately the same number of constituents. After redistricting, every senate position appears on the ballot in the next election. Following this, senators draw lots, and 18 are allotted a two-year term while 17 receive a four-year term. This staggers elections so that only half the body is up for re-election every two years.
Two-year terms drawn by a senator after reapportionment do not count against a senator's service under the term limits amendment, which limits Arkansas state senators to two terms of four years. A senator who draws a two-year term can serve for 10 or even 12 years, depending on when they were elected.
They are also limited to serving no more than two four-year terms.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of 88th General Assembly (2012)||20||15||35||0|
|Begin 89th General Assembly (2013)||14||21||35||0|
|End of 89th General Assembly (2014)||13||22|
|Begin 90th General Assembly (2015)||11||24||35||0|
|End of 90th General Assembly (2015)|
|Begin 91st General Assembly (2017)||9||26||35||0|
|November 15, 2017||25||34||1|
|November 16, 2017||24||33||2|
|February 9, 2018||23||32||3|
|June 19, 2018||25||32||1|
|Latest voting share||28.13%||78.13%|
The President of the Senate is the presiding officer of the Arkansas Senate, but the President Pro Tempore is the presiding officer in the absence of the Senate president.In practice, the President Pro Tempore generally serves as the presiding officer. Other Senate leadership positions include Majority leader, Whip and minority party positions. Committee assignments are determined by seniority, according to the rules of the Senate.
|President/Lieutenant Governor||Tim Griffin||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore of the Senate||Jonathan Dismang||Republican||28|
|Assistant Presidents pro tempore||Missy Irvin||Republican||18|
|Majority Leader||Jim Hendren||Republican||2|
|Majority Whip||Bart Hester||Republican||1|
|Minority Leader||Keith Ingram||Democratic||24|
|Minority Whip||Will Bond||Democratic||32|
Current committees include:
|District||Name||Party||Residence||First elected||Seat up||Term-limited|
|1||Bart Hester||Rep||Cave Springs||2012||2020||2028|
|8||Mathew Pitsch||Rep||Fort Smith||2018||2020|
|11||Jimmy Hickey Jr.||Rep||Texarkana||2012||2020||2028|
|14||Bill Sample||Rep||Hot Springs||2010||2020||2020|
|15||Mark Johnson||Rep||Little Rock||2018||2020|
|16||Breanne Davis||Rep||Russellville||2018 (special)||2020|
|17||Scott Flippo||Rep||Mountain Home||2014||2020||2030|
|18||Missy Irvin||Rep||Mountain View||2010||2020||2026|
|21||John Cooper||Rep||Jonesboro||2014 (special)||2020||2032|
|24||Keith Ingram||Dem||West Memphis||2012||2020||2024|
|25||Stephanie Flowers||Dem||Pine Bluff||2010||2020||2020|
|27||Trent Garner||Rep||El Dorado||2016||2020||2032|
|29||Ricky Hill||Rep||Cabot||2018 (special)||2020|
|30||Linda Chesterfield||Dem||Little Rock||2010||2020||2020|
|31||Joyce Elliott||Dem||Little Rock||2008||2020||2020|
|32||Will Bond||Dem||Little Rock||2016||2020||2020|
|34||Jane English||Rep||North Little Rock||2012||2020||2026|
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