Arkansas state government: Political environment, institutions, and legislation
- Introduction to Arkansas' distinct political environment
- Analysis of Arkansas' demographics
- Elections trend in Arkansas
- An overview of socio-culture study of Arkansas
- The legislative system of Arkansas
- The role of the Upper House
- The role of the the Lower House
- Works consulted
The state of Arkansas' distinct political environment requires a well planned policy initiative in order to drastically change policy, such as to increase the state's income tax. With a number of costly initiatives currently being implemented, particularly in infrastructure and education, an argument could be made that a reasonable income tax hike would be necessary. This hike could be made relatively easily if presented effectively to the state's legislature and executive branch, since both are controlled by democrats. These income tax increases could be treated and presented as investments in the state's education system as well as in its infrastructure.
With a very competitive and relatively balanced political climate, the state of Arkansas stands out in a region of the United States that is typically dominated by conservatives.
[...] The Governor of Arkansas is historically a valuable post and a political stepping stone towards national politics. Currently, the office is held by a Democrat, Mike Beebe. (Arkansas.gov 2008) The governor serves are the chief executive and commanding officer of the states' military. The governor of Arkansas must be thirty years of age, and have resided in the state for at least seven years. The term for a Governor of Arkansas is four years, with a term limit of two terms. [...]
[...] (NationMaster 2004) Currently, the Arkansas Senate is dominated by Democrats, who hold twenty-seven out of thirty-five seats. Republicans only control eight seats, and have very little clout in the senate. The President of the Senate is Bill Halter, a Democrat. The Senate Majority leader of the state is Tracy Steele, also a democrat. Both senate leaders assumed their posts in 2007. (NationMaster 2004) The fact that there is such an overwhelming democratic presence would make it relatively easy to push this legislation through the senate. [...]
[...] The unique sets of demographics that comprise Arkansas have undeniable political ramifications in the state. The combination of voters included in the state's electorate has created an especially competitive political climate. Most voters in rural areas seek low taxes, since these voters tend to feel less likely to see the results of state government spending. Also, the large population of religious conservatives seeks to have socially conservative legislature enacted. On the contrary, many urban voters likely seek large spending projects to improve cities' infrastructure, and seek government programs to help create jobs. [...]