Arkansas Law and Government

Arkansas Law and Government Information

Arkansas Law and Government General Background

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.

Arkansas Law and Government Structure

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.

Arkansas Executive Branch

The executive branch of Arkansas if headed by the Governor. Beneath the Governor are the Auditor, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer and the Commissioner of State Lands.
  • 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.

Arkansas Legislative Branch

Also known as the General Assembly, the Arkansas State Legislature consists of two houses, the upper house which is the Senate consisting of 35 members and the lower house which is the House of representatives which consists of 100 members.
  • 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.

Arkansas Judicial Branch

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.

Arkansas State Laws by Legal Topic

  • Accident and Injury Laws
  • Business Laws
  • Civil Rights Laws
  • Consumer Laws
  • Criminal Laws
  • DUI/DWI Laws
  • Education Laws
  • Employment Laws
  • Estate Planning Laws
  • Family Laws
  • Gambling & Lotteries Laws
  • Health Care Laws
  • Real Estate Laws
  • Statutes of Limitations
  • Tax Laws
  • Traffic and Driving Laws

Arkansas State Laws by Legal Topic and Sub-Topic

Accident and Injury Laws

  • Negligence
  • Statute of Limitations: Civil Cases
  • Statute of Limitations: Product Defects

Business Laws

  • Antitrust
  • Corporation Laws
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • General Business and Commercial Laws
  • Securities Fraud

Civil Rights Laws

Consumer Laws

  • Antitrust
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • "Homestead" Protection from Creditors
  • Interest Rates
  • Lemon Laws
  • Identity Theft
  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Securities Fraud
  • Telemarketing Fraud
  • Wire Fraud

Criminal Laws

  • Capital Punishment/Death Penalty
  • Child Abuse
  • Criminal Statute of Limitations
  • Computer Crime
  • Drug Crimes: Cocaine
  • Drug Crimes: Heroin
  • Drug Crimes: Marijuana
  • Gambling
  • Gun Control
  • Identity Theft
  • Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity
  • Protective Orders
  •  Stalking
  •  Traffic and Driving Laws
  •  Crimes A to Z (Criminal Law Center)

DUI / DWI

Education Laws

  • Compulsory Education
  • Corporal Punishment in Public Schools
  • Prayer in Public Schools
  • Privacy of School Records

Employment Laws

  • Civil Rights
  • Legal Holidays
  • Minimum Wage
  • Pay Day Requirements
  • Unions and the Right to Work
  • Whistleblower Statutes

Estate Planning Laws

  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Estate Taxes
  • Living Wills
  • Probate Laws
  •  Wills

Family Laws

  • Abortion
  • Adoption
  • Annulment and Prohibited Marriage
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support: State Guidelines
  • Divorce: Legal Requirements
  • Domestic Violence
  • Marital Property
  • Marriage: Age Requirements
  • Marriage: Licenses and Blood Tests
  • Marriage: Prohibited Marriage
  • Minors and the Law
  • Protective Orders
  • Stalking

Gambling & Lotteries Laws

  • Gambling
  • Gambling Tax
  • State Lotteries

Health Care Laws

  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Euthanasia
  • Living Wills
  • Medical Records and Privacy

Property and Real Estate Laws

  • Adverse Possession
  • "Homestead" Protection from Creditors
  •  Leases and Rental Agreements
  •  Security Deposit Limits
  •  Returning Security Deposits

Statute of Limitations Laws

  • Statute of Limitations: Civil Cases
  • Statute of Limitations: Criminal Cases
  • Statute of Limitations: Product Defects

Tax Laws

  • Personal Income Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Cigarette Tax
  • Gasoline Tax
  • Use Tax
  • Liquor Tax
  • Gambling Tax
  • Tax Evasion/Fraud

Traffic Violations and Driving Laws

Arkansas State Republican Committee Members

Arkansas County:

  • State Committeeman:  Garland Hayes
  • State Committeewoman:  Nancy Hayes

Ashley County:

  • State Committeeman:  Bill Harney
  • State Committeewoman:  Marilyn Harney

Baxter County:

  • State Committeeman:  Dan Hall
  • State Committeewoman:  Donna Hall

Benton County:

  • State Committeewoman:  Dee Van Lanigham

Boone County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ralph Russell
  • State Committeewoman:  Diane Russell

Bradley County:

  • State Committeeman:  Fred Robinson
  • State Committeewoman:  Jeri Robinson

Carroll County:

  • State Committeeman:  John Brodbeck
  • State Committeewoman:  Pam Barnum

Chicot County:

  • State Committeewoman:  Fonda Matthews

Clark County:

  • State Committeeman:  Charles Cabe
  • State Committeewoman:  Shelly Craft

Cleburne County:

  • State Committeeman:  J.D. Wallace
  • State Committeewoman:  Mary Hall

Cleveland County:

  • State Committeeman:  Carter Jaggers
  • State Committeewoman:  Suzy Gates

Columbia County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ralph Weiser
  • State Committeewoman:  Sonya Berk

Conway County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ted Hutchroft
  • State Committeewoman:  Dorothy Ward

Craighead County:

  • State Committeeman:  James Elwyn Hinds
  • State Committeewoman:  Janette Robertson

Crawford County:

  • State Committeeman:  Bruce Coleman
  • State Committeewoman:  Gennel Hutsell

Crittenden County:

  • State Committeeman:  Lewis Bastel
  • State Committeewoman:  Barbara Dodge

Faulkner County:

  • Stat Committeeman:  George Carroll
  • State Committeewoman:  Mozella Flucht

Franklin County:

  • State Committeeman:  Chris O'Neal
  • State Committeewoman:  Betty O'Neal

Garland County:

  • State Committeeman:  Larry Bailey
  • State Committeewoman:  Barbara Deuschle

Hempstead County:

  • State Committeeman:  Richard Allen
  • State Committeewoman:  Eunice McKillop

Hot Spring:

  • State Committeeman:  Ron Parker
  • State Committeewoman:  Rhonda Parker

Independence County:

  • State Committeeman:  Jack Moore
  • State Committeewoman:  Ann Moore

Jackson County:

  • State Committeeman:  Woodrow Turner
  • State Committeewoman:  Brenda Casteel

Jefferson County:

  • State Committeeman:  Mike Burdine
  • State Committeewoman:  Ida Breitenstein

Johnson County:

  • State Committeeman:  Jim Pat Mills
  • State Committeewoman:  Lue Weick

Lawrence County:

  • State Committeeman:  Jim Spangler
  • State Committeewoman:  Debbie Spangler

Lee County:

  • State Committeewoman:  Jane Hartley

Lincoln County:

  • State Committeewoman:  Tammy Moore

Lonoke County:

  • State Committeeman:  Patrick Hutton
  • State Committeewoman:  Janet Hutton

Madison County:

  • State Committeeman:  Harold Pitts
  • State Committeewoman:  Jo Pitts

Marion County:

  • State Committeeman:  Tony Todaro
  • State Committeewoman:  Ginny Van

Miller County: 

  • State Committeeman:  Bill Poynter
  • State Committeewoman:  Mary P. Hickerson

Mississippi County:

  • State Committeeman:  Glen Samford
  • State Committeewoman:  Dorothy Crockett

Monroe County:

  • State Committeewoman:  Anna Grizzle

Montgomery County:

  • State Committeeman:  Jon Alan Standridge
  • State Committeewoman:  Deborah Hobson

Ouachita County:

  • State Committeeman:  Jack Stewart
  • State Committeewoman:  Caroline Steward

Perry County:

  • State Committeeman:  Bill Gipson
  • State Committeewoman:  Belva Tanner

Pike County:

  • State Committeeman:  James Smith
  • State Committeewoman:  Mary Smith

Poinsett County:

  • State Committeeman:  Donnie Scroggins
  • State Committeewoman:  Martha Perry-Holmes

Polk County:

  • State Committeeman:  Richard Ray
  • State Committeewoman:  Linda Lee Ray

Pope County:

  • State Committeeman:  Doyle Cook
  • State Committeewoman:  Madelyn Ginsburg

Prairie County:

  • State Committeeman:  Rick Dobson
  • State Committeewoman:  Rita Dobson

Pulaski County:

  • State Committeeman:  James W. Joyner
  • State Committeewoman:  Jalene Joyner

Randolph County:

  • State Committeeman:  Wayne Eggleston
  • State Committeewoman:  Connie Eggleston

Saline County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ken Casady
  • State Committeewoman:  Jenet Jolly

Scott County:

  • State Committeeman:  Richard McClain
  • State Committeewoman:  Janelle McClain

Searcy County:

  • State Committeeman:  Scott Griffin
  • State Committeewoman:  Betty Wingo

Sebastian County:

  • State Committeeman:  Richard Griffin
  • State Committeewoman:  Jean Campbell

Sevier County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ron Moore
  • State Committeewoman:  Verlaine Jones

Sharp County:

  • State Committeeman:  Robert Lyons
  • State Committeewoman:  Holly McClaran

St.Francis County:

  • State Committeeman:  Chris Oswalt
  • State Committeewoman:  Florance Brown

Stone County:

  • State Committeeman:  David Stull
  • State Committeewoman:  Marilyn Stull

Union County:

  • State Committeeman:  James Baine
  • State Committeewoman:  Marilyn Ellen

Van Buren County:

  • State Committeeman:  Ingram Phillips
  • State Committeewoman:  Linda Rhoda

Washington County:

  • State Committeeman:  Joseph Patterson
  • State Committeewoman:  Julie Harris

White County:

  • State Committeeman:  Chris Glewen
  • State Committeewoman:  Charlann Reely

Yell County:

  • State Committeeman:  Mike Duncan
  • State Committeewoman:  Shawn Duncan