This is the year for legislative action. The elections are past and it is now time for newly elected and re-elected state officials to begin the 2019 term in office, as the 92nd General Assembly. The Arkansas State Constitution requires the General Assembly to meet in regular session on the second Monday in January of each odd-numbered year. Therefore, the 92nd General Assembly will convene at noon on Monday, January 14th, 2019. The Arkansas Senate and the House of Representatives will meet in respective chambers at the State Capitol.
On the House side of the Capitol, the Secretary of State will announce the election results for each of the 100 districts. Shortly thereafter, the duly elected members will be sworn in to office by Chief Justice Dan Kemp of the Arkansas State Supreme Court. The House of Representatives will then elect a member to preside as Speaker of the House. The Speaker will announce committee membership, including committee chairs and vice chairs. After organizational details are finalized, the House of Representatives will notify Governor Hutchinson and the State Senate that the House is organized and ready for business. Upon notification, pre-filed bills will be read and assigned to respective committees – where the bills will be debated and voted on at a later date.
On the second day of the General Assembly, Tuesday, January 15th, the Arkansas House and Senate will meet in a joint session at 10:30 am. After the 2018 Arkansas general election results are announced the duly elected state constitutional officers will be sworn in to office by the Chief Justice. The order of the swearing-in ceremony is: (1) Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin; (2) Secretary of State, John Thurston; (3) Treasurer of State, Dennis Milligan; (4) Auditor of State, Andrea Lea; (5) Attorney General Leslie Rutledge; and (6) Commissioner of State Lands, Tommy Land. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House then call the Governor into the chamber to be sworn-in and to deliver his inaugural address to the joint session. The Governor then proceeds the steps of the Capitol building where he publicly delivers the inaugural address. After the pomp, circumstance, and speeches of the swearing-in ceremonies are over, the state’s elected officials will get to the business of enacting legislation and appropriating necessary funds to operate the state for the next fiscal year.