Little Rock, Arkansas (June 16, 2023) –
Arkansas House Speaker Matthew J. Shepherd announced today that he has appointed House Chief Legal Counsel John T. Vines as the House Parliamentarian and Coordinator of Legislative Services beginning July 1, 2023, upon the retirement of current House Parliamentarian Finos “Buddy” Johnson. In addition to his new role, Vines will retain his position as House Chief Legal Counsel.
Vines began serving as Chief Legal Counsel in January 2017. From 2000-2017, Vines was in private legal practice in Hot Springs, and from 2011-2017, he served as a state representative from then District 25, representing Hot Springs and parts of Garland County. A native of Grubbs, Arkansas, Vines is a graduate of both the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law.
“The House Parliamentarian is an important position. John’s years of legal training and experience, observing House procedure, knowledge of House Rules, and dedication to maintaining fairness and due process uniquely qualify him for the position,” said Speaker Shepherd. “Additionally, John has worked closely with myself, Chief of Staff Roy Ragland, and Buddy in navigating a number of unprecedented issues over the past 5 years. The House has been fortunate in years past to have parliamentarians like Buddy Johnson and Tim Massanelli to help guide us. I know John will serve with the same level of integrity and dedication.”
Outgoing House Parliamentarian Buddy Johnson announced his retirement earlier this year. Mr. Johnson began working for the House in 1985 as the Information Director. He has served as Parliamentarian since 2012.
The Parliamentarian for the Arkansas House assists the Speaker in deciding all points of order. He or she also assists the Speaker in the preparation of the daily House calendar and assigning bills to their appropriate committee.
Additionally, Speaker Shepherd has named Robin Voss as Director of Operations/Executive Administrator to the Speaker. Voss assumed the role in May of this year. Voss has 15 years of experience with the Arkansas House and a total of 18 years working for the State of Arkansas.