By State Representative Danny Watson
LITTLE ROCK – Having a diverse membership helps the House of Representatives more effectively serve the people of Arkansas. For the 92nd General Assembly, the House membership will be diverse in age, gender, race, and careers.
Our members will range in ages from 28 to 81. Women will make up 25% of the House, tying a record set in 2009. And there will be 13 African-American legislators serving in the House.
Arkansas’s legislature is considered a part-time citizen legislature. Most House members have a full-time career in addition to their legislative obligations. Members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds.
The House will have more health care professionals serving than in previous years. We have nine members who either currently work or previously worked in the health care industry. The professions include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
There will be 10 members who are currently teachers or former educators.
The state’s largest industry is well represented as 9 members bring an agricultural background to the House.
Although not all are currently practicing attorneys, 13 members of the House have a Juris Doctorate degree.
Another 13 members are small business owners. Other professions include real estate agents, engineers, consultants, a television producer, and a pastor just to name a few.
We are proud to say that 11 of our members have served in the Armed Forces.
This body also brings a range of legislative experience. There are 22 freshman and 11 members are serving their 5th term.
All of us look forward to updating you during the session on our progress. As a reminder the session begins at noon on January 14. We stream all meetings at arkansashouse.org.