Arkansas House Weekly Column - The Mena Star: News

Arkansas House Weekly Column

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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 2:02 pm

There are a few important events for the House taking place just days after the election. These proceedings will have a significant impact on the 91st General Assembly and ultimately the next legislative session. On Thursday, November 10, a House Caucus will convene in the chamber. The purpose will be two-fold. The first purpose is to determine seniority and seating of members, and the second is to determine who will serve on standing committees and certain select committees. Bills begin and sometimes end in committees.

Hearings from interest groups, state agencies, and the general public are held at the committee level. Committee members play key roles in floor debate about the bills that they foster. Committees help to organize the most important work of the General Assembly. Standing committees maybe the most important type of committee because they consider and shape the vast majority of proposed laws. The Arkansas House of Representatives has ten standing committees, The ten House committees are split evenly into A and B categories. All House Members serve on one “A” committee and one “B” committee.

The class A standing committees are:

Ø Education

Ø Judiciary

Ø Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

Ø Public Transportation

Ø Revenue and Taxation

The class B standing committees are:

Ø Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs

Ø Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development

Ø City, County, and Local Affairs

Ø Insurance and Commerce

Ø State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

Each House District Caucus selects 5 members for each “A” committee and 5 members for each “B” committee. The Speaker of the House appoints a chairperson and vice-chairperson to each standing committee at a later date. Each House District Caucus will also select 6 members and 2 alternates to serve on the House Budget Committee. The Caucus will also select 5 members to serve on Legislative Council and the Joint Auditing Committee. This year we have two vacant seats in the current General Assembly that will be decided in a special election taking also taking place on November 8. Those two members will be sworn into the 90th General Assembly on November 16 in the House Chamber. The 2017 Regular Session will begin on January 9. We will be broadcasting Thursday’s proceedings live at

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