What The Constitution Says

According to the Arkansas Constitution, General Assembly reimbursable expenses must be:

• Authorized by law
• Documentedconstitution
• Reasonably related to their official duties
• Expenses only and not income

FACT:  As you can see in the copies of our legislators’ expense reimbursement claims available to you on this site, the majority of their expense reimbursement claims are:

  • Often NOT documented to an acceptable degree
  • Are often not provably related to their official duties (in particular, during the average of 10.5 months a year that our legislature does not meet).
  • Are INCOME, as shown by the reimbursement of undocumented “office expenses” and the use of “third parties” to accept payments

Amendment 70 to the Arkansas Constitution as approved by the people in the general election of 1992, includes this statement:

“Except as provided herein, no member of the General Assembly shall receive any other income for service in the General Assembly, whether in the form of salaries or expenses, including, but not limited to, public relations funds. Provided further, that no member of the General Assembly shall be entitled to per diem unless authorized by law, or to reimbursement for expenses or mileage unless authorized by law, documented, and reasonably related to their official duties.”

The amendment in its entirety is here:

Amend. 70.

Executive Department and General Assembly Salaries – Restrictions on Expense Reimbursements.

Section:
1. Executive Department and General Assembly – Salaries – Restrictions on reimbursements.
2. Additional Constitutional amendments authorized.
3. Salary adjustments.
4. Effective date.
5. Repeal of Amendment 56, Sections 2 and 3.

1. Executive Department and General Assembly – Salaries – Restrictions on reimbursements.

(a) No official of the Executive Department shall be reimbursed by the State of Arkansas for any expenses except those reasonably connected to their official duties and only if such reimbursement is made for documented expenses actually incurred and from the regular budget appropriated for the official’s office. Such restrictions on expense reimbursement are of a general application and also are intended specifically to prohibit the appropriation and use of public relations funds. The annual salaries of the Executive Department, which shall be paid in monthly installments, shall be as follows: the Governor, the sum of $60,000; the Lieutenant Governor, the sum of $29,000; the Secretary of State, the sum of $37,500; the Treasurer of State, the sum of $37,000; the Attorney General, the sum of $50,000; the Commissioner of State Lands, the sum of $37,500; and the Auditor of State, the sum of $37,500. Except as provided herein, such officials of the Executive Department shall not receive any other income from the State of Arkansas, whether in the form of salaries or expenses.
(b) The members of the General Assembly shall receive as their annual salary the sum of $12,500, except the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall each receive the sum of $14,000 annually, with such salaries to be payable in equal monthly installments. Except as provided herein, no member of the General Assembly shall receive any other income for service in the General Assembly, whether in the form of salaries or expenses, including, but not limited to, public relations funds. Provided further, that no member of the General Assembly shall be entitled to per diem unless authorized by law, or to reimbursement for expenses or mileage unless authorized by law, documented, and reasonably related to their official duties.

2. Additional Constitutional amendments authorized.

In addition to the three amendments to the Constitution allowed pursuant to Article 19, § 22, either branch of the General Assembly at a regular session thereof may propose an amendment tothe Constitution to change the salaries for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Commissioner of State Lands, and Auditor of State and for members of the General Assembly. If the same be agreed to by a majority of all members elected to each house, such proposed amendment shall be entered on the journals with the yeas and nays, and published in at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is published, for six months immediately preceding the next general election for Senators and Representatives, at which time the same shall be submitted to the electors of the State for approval or rejection. If a majority of the electors voting at such election adopt the amendment the same shall become a part of this Constitution. Only one amendment to the Constitution may be referred pursuant to this section.

3. Salary adjustments.

The salaries of the Executive Department officials and members of the General Assembly provided for in Section 1 or 2 of this amendment or adjusted pursuant to this section may be increased annually through subsequent appropriations by the General Assembly by an amount not to exceed the average percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers or its successor, as published by the United States Department of Labor, for the twoyears immediately preceding the year of the salary appropriation.

4. Effective date.

The provisions of this amendment shall be effective on January 1, 1993.

5. Repeal of Amendment 56, Sections 2 and 3.

Section 2 and Section 3 of Amendment 56 to the Arkansas Constitution are hereby repealed.

——————————

Comments are closed.