Kids In The House

Welcome to Kids in the House

Who says civics can’t be fun? Here you will find information sheets, activities, quizzes, and videos that will help you better understand Arkansas's legislature.


Frequently Asked Questions

How a Bill Becomes a Law

The Steps

1. Drafting & Introduction

A legislator has an idea for a Bill, usually from a constituent.

The legislative members present the idea and requests that it be drafted into a bill. In January, when the General Assembly meets, the House Representatives and Senators introduce their bills in their respective chambers.

2. Committee Action

The bill is referred to a committee. The members of the committee debate the issues and decide what action to take. This is when the public may speak for or against the bill.

After listening to the testimony, the committee will vote to recommend the passage of the bill or the defeat of the bill. The committee may also offer changes (called amendments). If the committee recommends passage of the bill, it then goes back to the chamber where it was introduced.

3. "Floor" Action

Once the bill passes in committee, the title of the bill must be read three times in the chamber in which it was introduced (House or Senate).

First Reading: The bill is read by the Clerk.

Second Reading: The bill may be amended after it has been read a second time. The bill is then debated on the Floor.

Third Reading: During the third reading, the bill may be debated and a final vote is taken.

4. Voting

Once the bill passes in the chamber in which it was introduced, it is then sent to the other chamber (House or Senate). In the other chamber, a similar process of committee action, floor debate, and voting takes place. If the bill passes both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is then sent to the Governor.

If the bill is amended by the other chamber, it is then returned to the body from which it originated for approval of the amendment.

5. Governor's Action

Once passed in both chambers, the bill must be approved by the governor.

The Governor may:

  • Sign the bill into law.
  • Amend the bill and return it to the General Assembly for approval.
  • Veto the bill and return it to the General Assembly, where the House of Representatives and the Senate may override the Governor’s veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers.
  • Take no action and the bill becomes a law without his signature.

6. Law

Bills that become laws during the Regular Session are effective 90 days after the final, official day of session, unless otherwise specified.

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Bills are introduced every session that began when an Arkansan approached their legislator.


In fact, some laws even began as ideas from students.  This video shows a recent example:

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Role

The Speaker of the House presides over the body of the House of Representatives. He or she is elected by House membership every two years. The Speaker's duties include:

  • the supervision of & directing the daily order of business,
  • certifying all measures passed,
  • assigning committee leadership, and
  • naming members to select committees.

Learn about the current Speaker

See the Speaker's Page

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Categories Kids In The House

Arkansas's legislature is considered a part-time citizen legislature, so most House members have full-time careers in addition to their legislative obligations.

Members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Having a diverse membership helps the House of Representatives more effectively serve the people of Arkansas.

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Resources

Arkansas State Symbols: Coloring Book

You'll need more than just your red, white, and blue crayons to color Arkansas beautiful. Enjoy these easy to print coloring sheets of our state symbols.

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Infographic: 92nd General Assembly - Arkansas House

Who makes up the 92nd General Assembly: women, men, republicans, democrats, farmers, educators and more.

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Infographic: Arkansas General Assembly

The Arkansas General Assembly is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives (100 members) and the Senate (35 members).

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Learn the Terms: Pocket Glossary

The words we use to describe public service may not be in every text book, but they can be found in this easy to print pocket glossary.

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Learn the Terms: Word Search

Constiutents are all around us, but can you find one in this word search? Find the terms used every day at the Capitol.

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Quiz: Do you know the Arkansas state symbols?

test your knowledge on some of the Arkansas state symbols.

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Quiz: How well do you know the AR General Assembly?

Test your knowledge of the Arkansas General Assembly.

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Quiz: Pocket Glossary Terms

How many of the terms do you remember from the pocket glossary? Test your knowledge in this quiz.

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Quiz: Who makes up the 92nd General Assembly?

Test your knowledge on the 92nd General Assembly, Arkansas House of Representatives.

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Who makes up the Federal Government?

Here's a poster explaining who makes up the Federal Government and what their jobs are!

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Who makes up the State Government?

Here's a poster explaining who makes up the Arkansas State government and what their jobs are!

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Write Your Own Bill

Use the bill template to write your own bill

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