The Arkansas State 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.[1]

The Arkansas House of Representatives meets annually, in regular session in odd number years and for a fiscal session in even number years, at the State Capitol in Little Rock.[2]

History

Arkansas House members in 1893, the four known African American members are segregated to the bottom right

During the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War, the Federal government passed the Reconstruction Acts and African Americans were enfranchised with voting rights. African Americans were elected and served in the Arkansas House although the numbers eventually declined as the Democrats retook control and were able to restore white supremacy. By the start of the 20th century African Americans were largely barred from holding in the Arkansas House and across the southern states.

Leadership of the House

The Speaker of the House presides over the body and is elected by the membership every two years. Its duties include the supervision and directing the daily order of business, recognizing members to speak, preserving order in the House, deciding all questions of order and germaneness, certifying all measures passed, assigning committee leadership, and naming members to select committees. In the Speaker’s absence, the Speaker Pro Tempore presides.

Officers

OfficeOfficerPartyDistrict
Speaker of the Arkansas House of RepresentativesMatthew ShepherdRepublican6
Speaker Pro TemporeRepublican74
Assistant Speaker pro tempore, 1st DistrictMichelle GrayRepublican62
Assistant Speaker pro tempore, 2nd DistrictMarcus RichmondRepublican21
Assistant Speaker pro tempore, 3rd DistrictFred AllenDemocratic30
Assistant Speaker pro tempore, 4th DistrictRepublican60

Floor Leaders

OfficeOfficerPartyDistrict
Majority LeaderAustin McCollumRepublican95
Majority WhipRepublican64
Minority LeaderTippi McCulloughDemocratic33
Minority WhipDenise GarnerDemocratic84

Current composition

Composition of the Arkansas State House after the 2018 elections

  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
  Republicans elected as Democrats
7624
RepublicanDemocratic
AffiliationParty

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
RepublicanDemocraticIndGreenVacant
End of the 90th General Assembly6831101000
Beginning of the 91st General Assembly7624001000
Current7624001000
Latest voting share76%24%

Current membership

DistrictNamePartyFirst electedTerm-limited
1Carol DalbyRep20162032
2Lane JeanRep20102026
3Danny WatsonRep20162032
4DeAnn VaughtRep20142030
5David FieldingDem20102026
6Matthew ShepherdRep20102026
7Sonia Eubanks BarkerRep20162032
8Jeff WardlawRep20102026
9Howard BeatyRep20202036
10Mike HolcombRep20122028
11Mark McElroyRep20122030
12David TollettRep20202036
13David HillmanRep20122028
14Roger LynchRep20162032
15Ken BraggRep20122028
16Ken FergusonDem20142030
17Vivian FlowersDem20142030
18Richard WomackRep20122028
19Justin GonzalesRep20142030
20Rep20162032
21Marcus RichmondRep20142030
22Rep2020 (special)2036
23Lanny FiteRep20142030
24Bruce CozartRep2011†2028
25Rep20162032
26Rep20202036
27Julie MayberryRep20162032
28Tony FurmanRep20202036
29Fredrick LoveDem20102026
30Fred AllenDem20162032
31Rep20202036
32Ashley HudsonDem20202036
33Tippi McCulloughDem20182034
34Joy SpringerDem2020 (special)2036
35Andrew CollinsDem20182034
36Denise EnnettDem2019 (special)2034
37Jamie Aleshia ScottDem20182028
38Rep20162032
39Mark LoweryRep20122028
40Rep20202036
41Karilyn BrownRep20142030
42Mark PerryDem20182034
43Rep20182034
44Cameron CooperRep20182034
45Rep20182034
46Les EavesRep20142030
47Rep20182034
48Reginald MurdockDem20102026
49Rep20162032
50Milton NicksDem20142030
51Deborah FergusonDem20122028
52Dwight ToshRep20142030
53Rep20202036
54Rep20162032
55Monte HodgesDem20122028
56Joe JettRep20122028
57Jimmy GazawayRep20162032
58Brandt SmithRep20142030
59Jack LadymanRep20142030
60Rep20162032
61Rep20182034
62Michelle GrayRep20142030
63Rep20182034
64Rep20122028
65Rep20142030
66Rep20122028
67Rep20102026
68Rep20182034
69Aaron PilkingtonRep20162032
70Spencer HawksRep20182034
71Rep20182034
72Stephen MagieDem20122028
73Mary BentleyRep20142030
74Jon EubanksRep20122028
75Rep20182034
76Rep20182034
77Rep20142030
78Jay RichardsonDem20182034
79Rep20102026
80Charlene FiteRep20122028
81Rep20162032
82Rep20202036
83Rep20182034
84Denise GarnerDem20182034
85David WhitakerDem20122028
86Nicole ClowneyDem20182034
87Robin LundstrumRep20142030
88Rep20162032
89Megan GodfreyDem20182034
90Kendon UnderwoodRep20202036
91Delia HaakRep20202036
92Gayla Hendren McKenzieRep20182034
93Rep20122028
94Rep20202036
95Austin McCollumRep20162032
96Rep20202036
97Rep20182034
98Rep20142030
99Rep20162032
100Nelda SpeaksRep20142030

Past composition of the House of Representatives

Committees

The House has 10 Standing Committees:

CLASS A

  • Education
  • Judiciary
  • Public Health, Welfare & Labor
  • Public Transportation
  • Revenue and Taxation

CLASS B

  • Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development
  • City, County and Local Affairs
  • Insurance and Commerce
  • State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEES

  • Rules
  • House Management

JOINT COMMITTEES

  • Budget
  • Energy
  • Performance Review
  • Public Retirement and Social Security Programs
  • Advanced Communication and Information Technology

CURRENT COMMITTEES INCLUDE:[3]

  • Advanced Communications And Information Technology
  • Aging, Children And Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs
    • Veterans’ Home Task Force
    • House Leg., Military & Veterans Affairs
    • House Children & Youth Subcom.
    • House Aging Subcommittee
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development
    • House Parks & Tourism Subcommittee
    • House Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resources Subcom.
  • City, County & Local Affairs Committee
    • House Planning Subcommittee
    • House Local Government Personnel Subcommittee
    • House Finance Subcommittee
  • Education Committee
    • House K-12, Vocational-Technical Institutions Subcommittee
    • House Higher Education Subcommittee
    • House Early Childhood Subcommittee
  • House Management
  • House Rules
  • Insurance & Commerce
    • House Utilities Subcommittee
    • House Insurance Subcommittee
    • House Financial Institutions Subcommittee
  • Joint Performance Review
  • Judiciary Committee
    • House Juvenile Justice & Child Support Subcommittee
    • House Courts & Civil Law Subcommittee
    • House Corrections & Criminal Law Subcommittee
  • Public Health, Welfare And Labor Committee
    • House Labor & Environment Subcommittee
    • House Human Services Subcommittee
    • House Health Services Subcommittee
  • Public Transportation
    • House Waterways & Aeronautics Subcom.
    • House And Rail Subcommittee
    • House Motor Vehicle & Highways Subcom.
  • Revenue & Taxation
    • House Sales, Use, Misc. Taxes & Exemptions Subcom.
    • House Income Taxes-Personal & Corporate Subcom.
    • House Complaints And Remediation Subcom.
  • State Agencies & Govt’L Affairs
    • House State Agencies & Reorgan. Subcom
    • House Elections Subcommittee
    • House Constitutional Issues Subcommittee

Each Representative serves on two Standing Committees, and each committee has 20 members. Standing Committee chairmen and vice-chairmen are selected from respective committee rosters by the Speaker.

Two Select Committees operate exclusively within the House. Members of the committees are appointed by the Speaker. The House Select Committees are the House Committee on Rules and the House Management Committee.

The Committee on Rules considers all proposed action touching the House rules, the joint rules and the order of business. The Committee also considers all legislation dealing with alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco products, coin-operated amusement devices, vending machines, lobbying, code of ethics, pari-mutuel betting and similar legislation.

The House Management Committee works with the Speaker of the House to direct and oversee operations of the House of Representatives. Its duties include the hiring and supervision of the House Staff, the development of personnel policies and procedures, and the monitoring of facility usage and maintenance.

Representatives also serve on five committees that operate jointly with the Senate. They are Joint Budget, Joint Retirement and Social Security Programs, Joint Energy, Joint Performance Review and Joint Committee on Advanced, Communications and Information Technology

House members of the Joint Budget Committee are chosen by their peers from respective caucus districts. House members on other Joint Committees are appointed to their positions by the Speaker.

History

John Wilson, the speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, stabbed Representative J. J. Anthony to death during a legislative debate on the floor of the chamber in 1837. Wilson was later acquitted. The Old State House is said to be haunted to this day.[4][5]

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.[6]

In 2020, several members tested positive for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Arkansas.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ “Home – Arkansas House of Representatives”. www.arkansashouse.org. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  2. ^ “Arkansas House of Representatives”. Ballotpedia. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  3. ^ “Arkansas House Committees”. Open States. Sunlight Foundation. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  4. ^ [1] Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ “Women”. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Arkansas: The Central Arkansas Library System. 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Shepherd, Matthew J. (October 20, 2020). “Two House Members Test Positive for COVID-19. Legislative Meetings Postponed”. Arkansas House of Representatives. Retrieved October 20, 2020.

External links

Coordinates: 34°44′48″N 92°17′21″W / 34.7467387°N 92.2892220°W / 34.7467387; -92.2892220