LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Senators Keith Ingram of West Memphis and Jimmy Hickey Jr. of Texarkana jointly announced Thursday they seek to abolish the office of lieutenant governor during the next legislative session.
In a press release, Ingram is quoted saying, "The office is a vestige of the early 19th century, before telephones were common and before computer technology was ever dreamed of. Under the Arkansas constitution the lieutenant governor's only duty is to preside over the Senate and to serve as acting governor when the governor is out of state or unable to discharge the powers of the office."
Hickey added, "A conservative estimate is that approval of this amendment would save Arkansas taxpayers about $450,000 a year."
In the release, the senators said:
To abolish the lieutenant governor's office requires voter approval of a constitutional amendment. The legislature may refer up to three proposed amendments during each regular session, and Ingram and Hickey said they intend to do so when the 90th General Assembly convenes in January.
In the resolution, if the governor resigned or was unable to fulfill the duties of the office, the state attorney general would step in. Then a special election would be held to fill the attorney general office.
If the resolution is adopted by the legislature, it would go on the November 2016 general election ballot and if approved it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Read the full proposal here: Ingram, Hickey resolution to abolish lieutenant governor office (PDF)