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Arkansas General Assembly

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Arkansas General Assembly

Arkansas General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
Leadership
Michael Lamoureux (R)
since January 14, 2013
Davy Carter (R)
since January 14, 2013
Structure
Seats 135
Political groups
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Green Party
Elections
Last election
November 6, 2012
Meeting place
Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock.jpg
Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock
Website
http://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.

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]

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 two-thirds of the membership of both houses of the legislature can override that veto.

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, sets term limits for Representatives and Senators. Representatives are limited to three two-year terms (six years); Senators are 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.)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Arkansas General Assembly, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (accessed April 28, 2013)
  2. ^ a b 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. 

External links

  • Arkansas General Assembly official website

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