Second in a multi-part series on term limits, approved by the people in 1992 and 2004.


(March 2014) The number of female General Assembly members has nearly tripled since the people of Arkansas approved term limits in 1992.1


Amendment 73 to the state Constitution limits Arkansas constitutional officers2 to two four-year terms.  The amendment limits state senators to two four-year terms.  The amendment limits state representatives to three two-year terms.


The people of Arkansas defeated a proposal to overturn term limits in 2004.  The unsuccessful measure was referred by the General Assembly, which has placed another proposal to overturn term limits on the November 2014 ballot.


The Effect of Term Limits: Women


Only 9 women served in the General Assembly in 1992 when voters approved term limits.3 The 82nd General Assembly was the first to be seated (1999) after term limits took effect in 1998.  Records show no female senators in the 35-member Senate, and 20 representatives in the 100-member House that session.4  The 89th General Assembly, seated in 2013, includes 6 female senators and 17 representatives.5


In sum, the number of women serving in the General Assembly since term limits was approved has nearly tripled from 9 to 23 legislators.


–Greg Kaza

1 Sixty percent (60%) of the people approved term limits in 1992.  Greenberg, Dan. “The Dangers of Diluting Term Limits.” Policy Foundation report (January 2005)

2 Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General and Commissioner of State Lands.

3 (Senate, 1992)Charlie Cole Chaffin; (House) Irma Hunter Brown; Christene Brownlee; Myra Lee Jones; Wanda Northcutt; Carolyn Pollan; Jacqueline Roberts; Charlotte Schexnayder; and Judy Smith.

4 (Senate, 1999) none; (House) Sarah Agee; Evelyn Ammons; Cecile Bledsoe; Pat Bond; Ann Bush; Jo Carson; Joyce Dees; Lisa Ferrell; Mary Beth Green; Brenda Gullett; Rita Hale; Barbara Horn; Janice Judy; Barbara King; Becky Lynn; Sue Madison; Sandra Rodgers; Mary Anne Salmon; Martha Shoffner; and Wilma Walker.

5 (Senate, 2013) Cecile Bledsoe; Linda Chesterfield; Joyce Elliott; Jane English; Stephanie Flowers; Missy Irvin; (House) Mary Broadaway; Ann Clemmer; Jody Dickinson; Charlotte Douglas; Deborah Ferguson; Charlene Fite; Fonda Hawthorne; “Prissy’ Hickerson;; Debra Hobbs; Karen Hopper; Patti Julian; Sheilla Lampkin; Andrea Lea; Stephanie Malone; Betty Overbey; Sue Scott; and Mary Slinkard.


Sources: Legislative Directory, Arkansas Legislative Digest