House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Rep. Andrea Lea (R-Russellville) says consensus is forming for a proposed constitutional amendment on tort reform, and she sees other ideas gaining traction.

In an interview on Talk Business Arkansas’ daily webcast/podcast, Lea said that she is convinced a tort reform referral will be made from a Joint State Agencies committee later in the session.

“I’m thoroughly confident that some level of tort reform will come out,” Lea said.

The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down major provisions in a tort reform law that was passed nearly a decade ago. There are several proposals currently drafted that could give voters a chance to replace the part of the law that was struck down.

The House State Agencies and Senate State Agencies committees will consider as many as 37 proposals to alter the Arkansas Constitution. State lawmakers can refer up to 3 proposed constitutional amendments for voter consideration in the next general election. A quirky provision also allows a fourth proposal if it involves salaries of elected officials.

A full list and description of all 37 constitutional amendment proposals appears at the bottom of this post.

Lea also said that a proposed amendment to alter the state’s ethics laws, which could include a term limits extension, is receiving much attention.

Also, efforts to make highway commissioners and Game & Fish Commission members elective offices is garnering buzz. While Lea has drafted one of those proposed constitutional amendments, she’s not sure it will be referred.

“I’m not positive that it’s good public policy. I think it’s worth discussing, that’s for sure,” she said.

Lea added that, in particular for highway commissioners, the recently enacted half-cent sales tax for highway construction and repairs could benefit from oversight by an elected highway panel.

“Let’s make sure it’s spent fairly throughout the entire state,” she said.

Lea said that she plans special hearings later in the session to allow sponsors of proposed constitutional amendments to air their measures. And, the third-term representative said she plans on letting any and all members express their viewpoints on the proposals.

“I want to make sure that all 20 members feel equal in getting to have their voice heard. I didn’t feel that way 2 years ago and I didn’t feel that way 4 years ago,” said Lea.

You can view a video of the interview below or listen to a mp3 podcast here. Also below the video clip is an outline of all 37 of the proposed constitutional amendments that a Joint State Agencies panel will consider.

HJR1001 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO CREATE THE RAINY DAY TRUST FUND.

HJR1002 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO AMENDMENT NO. 73, SECTION 2, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS TO LIMIT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF YEARS A MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAY SERVE.

HJR1003 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO AMENDMENT NO. 42 TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS TO PROVIDE FOR ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION BY POPULAR VOTE.

HJR1004 – THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATIVE EQUALIZATION AMENDMENT.

HJR1005 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE PROCESS FOR SELECTING A JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT AND AMENDING PROVISIONS CONCERNING SERVICE ON THE SUPREME COURT.

HJR1006 – AMENDING THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW A COUNTY TO ABOLISH THE TOWNSHIP OFFICE OF CONSTABLE IF APPROVED BY A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE.

HJR1007 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO DETERMINE THE MANNER OF PUBLISHING NOTICES REQUIRED BY VARIOUS SECTIONS OF THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION.

HJR1008 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE DEDICATION OF ROAD-USER REVENUE TO STATE HIGHWAYS, COUNTY ROADS, AND CITY STREETS.

HJR1009 – THE ARKANSAS ELECTED OFFICIALS ETHICS, TRANSPARENCY, AND FINANCIAL REFORM AMENDMENT OF 2014.

HJR1010 – PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT CONCERNING THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AMENDING THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION.

HJR1011 – PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO AMEND AMENDMENT 80 OF THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION AND OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING CIVIL LITIGATION.

HJR1012 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT OF STATE GOVERNMENT.

HJR1013 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO CLARIFY SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL LAW AND RIGHTS UNDER AMENDMENT 80 TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION.

HJR1014 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT OF STATE GOVERNMENT.

HJR1015 – TO AMEND AMENDMENT 82 TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING OBLIGATION BONDS FOR LARGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.

HJR1016 – THE ARKANSAS PUBLIC PRAYER AMENDMENT.

HJR1017 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING EXTRAORDINARY SESSIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

HJR1018 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF ARKANSAS LAW AND UNITED STATES LAW.

HJR1019 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE ELIGIBILITY OF CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO HOLD A CIVIL OFFICE.

SJR1 – AMENDING THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO REQUIRE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO PROVIDE THAT A VOTER VOTING IN PERSON SHALL PRESENT VALID GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION BEFORE RECEIVING A BALLOT.

SJR2 – THE TORT REFORM AMENDMENT OF 2013.

SJR3 – TO AMEND AMENDMENT 35 AND AMENDMENT 42 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ARKANSAS TO REQUIRE THAT MEMBERS OF THE ARKANSAS STATE GAME AND FISH COMMISSION AND THE STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION BE ELECTED.

SJR4 – THE TAXPAYERS’ PROTECTION AMENDMENT.

SJR5 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING CIVIL CLAIMS AND COURT PROCEDURES.

SJR6 – AN AMENDMENT TO CHANGE THE POWERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE COURTS REGARDING RULES OF PLEADING, PRACTICE, AND PROCEDURE FOR COURTS, APPEAL RIGHTS, AND COMPENSATION OR DAMAGES AWARDED BY COURTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES.

SJR7 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING ADMINISTRATIVE RULES PROMULGATED BY STATE AGENCIES.

SJR8 – PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO AMEND PROVISIONS OF THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING APPORTIONMENT; AND TO CREATE THE ARKANSAS APPORTIONMENT COMMISSION.

SJR9 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO CLARIFY AN INFAMOUS CRIME UNDER ARTICLE 5, SECTION 9.

SJR10 – TO AMEND THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO REFORM AND REVISE CERTAIN TAX LEVIES.

SJR11 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE PROSECUTION OF ELECTION FRAUD.

SJR12 – AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING COUNTY CONTRACTS FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS OR BRIDGES.

SJR13 – TO AMEND PROVISIONS OF THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING LOCAL INITIATIVE PETITION DEADLINES.

SJR14 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING STANDARDS OF ETHICS FOR CERTAIN PUBLIC SERVANTS.

SJR15 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE POWERS OF INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.

SJR16 – PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 5, SECTION 1, OF THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION CONCERNING INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.

SJR17 – THE ARKANSAS INDEPENDENT CITIZENS COMMISSION AMENDMENT OF 2014.

SJR18 – THE ARKANSAS ELECTED OFFICIALS ETHICS, TRANSPARENCY, AND FINANCIAL REFORM AMENDMENT OF 2014.

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Roby Brock
Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by e-mail at Roby@TalkBusiness.net. Follow him on Twitter: @RobyBrock.