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House of Representatives

What is the House of Representatives?

The Arkansas House of Representatives, or the “House” as it is often referred to, is considered the lower branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. It is comprised of 100 members, each representing a relatively equal number of constituents. Districts are redrawn every 10 years using the latest U.S. Census data. Based on the 2010 census data, each member’s district was drawn to represent approximately 29,000 Arkansans.

Members are elected to a two-year term and are limited to a total of 16 years of legislative service. That 16-year limit is cumulative to include any service in the Senate, as well.

The speaker of the house is the leader of that legislative branch and is elected every two years by the 100 members. The speaker is responsible for maintaining order in the chamber and directs the daily order of business. The speaker also assigns committee chairmen and selects the committees on which each member will serve. The speaker pro tempore is the second in command and presides in the absence of the speaker.

Bills first heard in the House will be referred to various committees that are germane to their topic for consideration. Should the bills receive a favorable recommendation from the committee or committees, they will then return to the House for consideration.

When a bill passes the House it must also pass the Senate before it can be sent to the governor for consideration.