Article 6 – Executive Department – Arkansas Constitution

§ 1.   Executive officers.

The executive department of this State shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State and Attorney General, all of whom shall keep their offices in person at the seat of government and hold their offices for the term of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified, and the General Assembly may provide by law for the establishment of the office of Commissioner of State Lands. [As amended by Const. Amend. 6, 1.]

§ 2.   Governor — Supreme executive power.

The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled “the Governor of the State of Arkansas.”

§ 3.   Election of executive officers.

The Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, and Attorney General shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large, at the time and places of voting for members of the General Assembly; the returns of each election therefor shall be sealed up separately and transmitted to the seat of government by the returning officers, and directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives; who shall, during the first week of the session, open and publish the votes cast and given for each of the respective officers hereinbefore mentioned, in the presence of both houses of the General Assembly. The person having the highest number of votes, for each of the respective offices, shall be declared duly elected thereto; but if two or more shall be equal, and highest in votes for the same office, one of them shall be chosen by the joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly, and a majority of all the members elected shall be necessary to a choice.

§ 4.   Contested election.

Contested elections for Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, and Attorney General shall be determined by the members of both houses of the General Assembly, in joint session; who shall have exclusive jurisdiction in trying and determining the same, except as hereinafter provided in the case of special elections; and all such contests shall be tried and determined at the first session of the General Assembly after the election in which the same shall have arisen.

§ 5.   Qualifications of Governor.

No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor except a citizen of the United States, who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been seven years a resident of this State.

§ 6.   Governor, commander-in-chief of armed services.

The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of this State, except when they shall be called into the actual service of the United States.

§ 7.   Information and reports from departments.

He may require information, in writing, from the officers of the executive department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

§ 8.   Messages to General Assembly.

He shall give to the General Assembly, from time to time, and at the close of his official term, to the next General Assembly, information, by message, concerning the condition and government of the State; and recommend for their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

§ 9.   Seal of State.

A seal of the State shall be kept by the Governor, used by him officially, and called the “Great Seal of the State of Arkansas.”

§ 10. Grants and commissions.

All grants and commissions shall be issued in the name, and by the authority, of the State of Arkansas; sealed with the great seal of the State; signed by the Governor, and attested by the Secretary of State.

§ 11.   Incompatible offices.

No member of Congress, or other person holding office under the authority of this State, or of the United States, shall exercise the office of Governor, except as herein provided.

§ 12.   President of Senate succeeding to Governor’s office.

In case of the death, conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation, absence from the State, or other disability of the Governor, the powers, duties and emoluments of the office for the remainder of the term, or until the disability be removed, or a Governor elected and qualified, shall devolve upon, and accrue, to the President of the Senate.

§ 13.   Speaker of House succeeding to office of Governor.

If, during the vacancy of the office of Governor, the President of the Senate shall be impeached, removed from office, refuse to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the State; the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, administer the government.

§ 14.   Election to fill vacancy.

Whenever the office of Governor shall have become vacant by death, resignation, removal from office or otherwise, provided such vacancy shall not happen within twelve months next before the expiration of the term of office for which the late Governor shall have been elected, the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, exercising the powers of Governor for the time being, shall immediately cause an election to be held to fill such vacancy, giving, by proclamation, sixty days, previous notice thereof, which election shall be governed by the same rules prescribed for general elections of Governor as far as applicable; the returns shall be made to the Secretary of State, and the acting Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General shall constitute a board of canvassers, a majority of whom shall compare said returns and declare who is elected; and if there be a contested election, it shall be decided as may be provided by law.

§ 15.   Approval of bills — Vetoes.

Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the General Assembly, shall be presented to the Governor; if he approve it, he shall sign it; but if he shall not approve it, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated; which house shall enter the objections at large upon their journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of the whole number elected to that house, shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house; by which, likewise, it shall be reconsidered; and, if approved by a majority of the whole number elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by “yeas and nays;” and the names of the members voting for or against the bill, shall be entered on the journals. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall become a law, unless he shall file the same, with his objections, in the office of the Secretary of State, and give notice thereof, by public proclamation, within twenty days after such adjournment.

§ 16.   Concurrent orders or resolutions — Veto.

Every order or resolution in which the concurrence of both houses of the General Assembly may be necessary, except on questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and, before it shall take effect, be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by both houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

§ 17.   Vetoes of items of appropriation bills.

The Governor shall have power to disapprove any item, or items, of any bill making appropriation of money, embracing distinct items; and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be the law; and the item or items of appropriations disapproved, shall be void unless repassed according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills over the executive veto.

§ 18.   Pardoning power.

In all criminal and penal cases, except in those of treason and impeachment, the Governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations of sentence, and pardons, after conviction; and to remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law. In cases of treason, he shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to grant reprieves and pardons; and he may, in the recess of the Senate, respite the sentence until the adjournment of the next regular session of the General Assembly. He shall communicate to the General Assembly at every regular session each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon, with his reasons therefor; stating the name and crime of the convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve.

§ 19.   Extraordinary sessions of General Assembly — Calling — Purposes.

The Governor may, by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that shall have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy or contagious disease; and he shall specify in his proclamation the purpose for which they are convened; and no other business than that set forth therein shall be transacted until the same shall have been disposed of; after which they may, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to both houses, entered upon their journals, remain in session not exceeding fifteen days.

§ 20.   Power to adjourn General Assembly.

In cases of disagreement between the two houses of the General Assembly, at a regular or special session, with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor may, if the facts be certified to him by the presiding officers of the two houses, adjourn them to a time not beyond the day of their next meeting; and on account of danger from an enemy or disease, to such other place of safety as he may think proper.

§ 21.   Duties of Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State shall keep a full and accurate record of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor; and, when required, lay the same with all papers, minutes and vouchers relating thereto, before either branch of the General Assembly. He shall also discharge the duties of Superintendent of Public Instruction, until otherwise provided by law.

§ 22.    Duties of executive officers in general — Dual office holding prohibited — Vacancies

— Filling.

The Treasurer of State, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, and Attorney-General shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law; they shall not hold any other office or commission, civil or military, in this State or under any State, or the United States, or any other power, at one and the same time; and in case of vacancy occurring in any of said offices, by death, resignation or otherwise, the Governor shall fill said office by appointment for the unexpired term.

§ 23.   Filling vacancies in other offices.

When any office, from any cause, may become vacant, and no mode is provided by the Constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have the power to fill the same by granting a commission, which shall expire when the person elected to fill said office, at the next general election, shall be duly qualified.

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