LITTLE ROCK — The Senate on Wednesday determined that a joint committee should consider dozens of proposed constitutional amendments offered for referral to the 2014 general election ballot.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs voted to send six of 18 proposed constitutional changes before the committee to a joint meeting of the House and Senate panels. Nineteen proposals were filed in the House.
But Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, challenged the move, pointing out a provision in the Legislature’s joint rules specifying that the joint committee shall consider all proposed constitutional amendments filed. The Senate Rules Committee confirmed the rule and on Wednesday the Senate debated that panel’s decision before voting to send all the proposals to the joint committee.
Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, sent a letter directing the House state agencies panel to send all of the constitutional proposals before it to the joint committee, which will make final recommendations to the House and Senate.
The Legislature can refer up to three general constitutional amendment proposals to the general election ballot. Lawmakers can also refer a fourth measure proposing salary changes, but no such measure is among this year’s proposals.