The State of Arkansas is the 25th state of the Union of the United States of America. It received “Territory” status on the 2nd of March, 1819, which came into effect on the 4th of July, 1819. The constitution of Arkansas known as the “Enabling Act” became effective on the 15th of June, 1836.
The State Government is headed by a Governor and consists of 75 counties and each county operates independently. Representatives are selected to administer the state through an electoral process. These officials are chosen to perform executive, judicial and legislative functions.
Governor: The Governor heads the State Government and is morally responsible for the efficient administration of the state. The Governor presides over the senate and participates in the discussion and formation of laws.
Lieutenant Governor: This office is created to take over the Governor’s duties when the Governor is not able to perform official duties if say, the governor is not in the state, impeached or dies.
Auditor: The Auditor acts as a general accountant for the state, is responsible for fund disbursement and is by default a member of the board of several other government financial bodies.
Attorney General: The office of the Attorney General oversees all legal matters in the state such as civil lawsuits, criminal matters, community issues, fraud and public protection matters such as protection of consumers.
Secretary of State: This department looks after the maintenance of the State Capitol, oversees business and commerce, monitors education and communications, and maintains the state’s election records. It also maintains police and insurance for the State Capitol, and also maintains the State Capitol Gift Shop.
Treasurer: The office of the Treasurer is basically the bank of the state. It monitors all government financial transactions which take place in the state on a daily basis. It disperses funds to local governments. There are also a number of other smaller functions like distribution of taxes collected, management and investment of cash funds and involvement in debt services.
Commissioner of State Lands: The Land Commissioner primarily oversees collection of property tax to ensure that sufficient funds are being generated from land in the form of property tax. This department also involves itself in public auctions of land.
The Senate: It meets every other year on the second Monday. The main matters discussed range from school funds, higher education, roads and bridges, human resources, prisons and state parks.
House of Representatives: The House of representatives consists of 100members elected from the general public and are nominated for the sole purpose of raising matters of public interest and seeing that laws are passed in the interest of these public issues.
Division of Legislative Audit: The division of Legislative Audit is the agency which oversees the financial audit of state and local bodies. It publishes an annual financial report. The main purpose of this department is to detect misuse of public money. It has detected the embezzlement of millions of dollars of public money since its inception in 1969.
Bureau of Legislative Research: This is an autonomous body which is responsible for undertaking various aspects of government spending and finding out ways to make it more efficient. The different divisions under the Bureau of Legislative Research are the Legal Division, Fiscal Division, Information Technology Division and Research Division.
The judicial branch is further sub-divided into five divisions as listed below:
Supreme Court: Formed in 1836, this is the highest court in the state. It is headed by the chief justice below who are seven justices and six associate justices.
Court of Appeals: This department was formed in the year 1978. It was initially formed to ease the burden of the Supreme Court. Due to increase in the volume of workload, the number of members was increased from 6 to 12 in the year 1993.
Circuit Courts: The Circuit Courts were created in 2001, but became operational from 2002. The areas covered by the Circuit Courts are criminal, probate, juvenile, civil and domestic relations. A judge of the circuit court has a term of six years.
District Courts: These used to be called Municipal Courts. They handle cases where the value is less that $5.000.
City Courts: These courts provide a platform for citizens to represent themselves in minor civil cases. The City Courts are made available to the public in small areas where even the district courts do not reach.
Conclusion: We can end this discussion with the conclusion that the state of Arkansas has indeed well-developed government machinery in place. The government process has its own inbuilt system of checks and balances which results in a more or less smooth functioning government.
Accident and Injury Laws
Civil Rights Laws
DUI / DWI
Estate Planning Laws
Gambling & Lotteries Laws
Health Care Laws
Property and Real Estate Laws
Statute of Limitations Laws
Traffic Violations and Driving Laws
Van Buren County: