About the Arkansas Senate
The Arkansas General Assembly convenes in regular on the second Monday of every other year, in odd numbered years. A session lasts for a minimum of 60 days but the legislature has authority to extend it if necessary. The legislature meets in fiscal session in even-numbered years, beginning in February. The fiscal session lasts up to 30 days and can be extended to 45 days, but no longer than 45 days. Also, the governor can call a special session during the interims between regular sessions.
The major issues facing the legislature are funding of public schools and institutions of higher education, paying for highway and bridge construction, funding health and human services, building and operating state prisons, the State Police and state parks. The state Senate in Little Rock has 35 members, each representing a district with about 83,300 people.
Service in the state legislature is part-time, and most state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. The 35-member Arkansas Senate has 24 Republicans and 11 Democrats. The state Senate has seven women members, and three African-Americans.
The state Senate should not be confused with the U.S. Senate in Washington. Arkansas has two U.S. Senators who represent the entire state, and their offices work on different issues. The U.S. Senate is where to call if you have a question about veterans affairs, Social Security, passports, farm subsidies and foreign affairs. The telephone numbers of the U.S. Senate offices in Little Rock are 375-2993 and 324-6336.
Members of the Arkansas Senate
- 2017 Rules of the Senate - PDF