House of Reps

Arkansas House of Representatives

The Arkansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. 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 26,734 according to the 2000 federal census. Members are elected to two-year terms and, since the 1993 Amendment 73 to the Arkansas Constitution, limited to three terms (six years). There are 11 African American Representatives.

The Arkansas House of Representatives meets regularly every two years at the State Capitol in Little Rock.

Leadership of the House

The Speaker of the House presides over the body and is elected by the membership every two years. His or her 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.

Leadership information

Position Name Party County District
Speaker of the House Benny C. Petrus Democratic Arkansas District 14
Speaker Pro Tempore Scott Sullivan Democratic Sevier District 21
Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Ray Kidd Democratic Craighead District 76
Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Adcock Democratic Pulaski District 55
Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Roy Ragland Republican Searcy District 90
Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Earnest Brown, Jr. Democratic Jefferson District 16

Floor Leaders

Position Name Party County District
Majority Leader Steve Harrelson Democrat Miller District 1
Minority Leader Johnny Key Republican Baxter District 81


The House has 10 Standing Committees:

  • Education
  • Judiciary
  • Public Health, Welfare & Labor
  • Public Transportation
  • Revenue and Taxation
  • Aging, Children & Youth
  • Legislative & Military Affairs
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development
  • City, County and Local Affairs
  • Insurance and Commerce
  • State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

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.

Current composition

Affiliation Members
  Democratic Party 75
  Republican Party 25


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.

See also


External links

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