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Role of the Bureau of Legislative Research

Centralized staff for the General Assembly:  The Bureau of Legislative Research serves all 100 members of the House of Representatives and all 35 members of the Senate.  The Bureau of Legislative Research is a principal provider of services to the members of the General Assembly both during legislative sessions and during the interim in between sessions. The members of the General Assembly also receive services from their chamber (Senate or House of Representatives) and Arkansas Legislative Audit.  The Bureau strives to provide the best services possible to each member within the context of its duties to the General Assembly as a whole.

The Bureau serves members of the General Assembly and does not conduct research on behalf of private individuals.

Nonpartisan and impartial services: The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

The Bureau of Legislative Research services to the General Assembly include:

  • Research:  General subject research, legal research, budget and fiscal research, state personnel classification and compensation research, interim committee studies, revenue projections, and fiscal impact statements on proposed bills.

  • Drafting: Preparation of bills (general bills and appropriation bills), resolutions, amendments to bills and resolutions. The Bureau also prepares interim study proposals and interim resolutions.  The Joint Rules of the House of Representatives and Senate require all bills, even bills drafted by outside sources, to be processed through the Bureau.  In processing bills drafted by outside sources, the Bureau makes technical corrections for accuracy and consistency and reviews the bill for legal issues and notifies the bill sponsor of critical legal issues that the sponsor may want to address. 

  • Committee staffing: Almost all legislative committees and subcommittees are staffed by the Bureau.  The exceptions are the Legislative Audit Committee and its subcommittees and committees related to the internal operations of the House of Representatives or Senate.

  • Review of state agency rules: Monitors rules as they are proposed by agencies.  Proposed rules are reviewed to determine whether they comply with legislative intent and to ensure they are technically correct.

  • Codification of laws: Assists the Arkansas Code Revision Commission and works with the publisher of the Arkansas Code Annotated to compile and codify Acts of the General Assembly into the Arkansas Code Annotated.

  • Computer services: Maintains the computer system that serves the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Bureau of Legislative Research.  Provides assistance to legislators with the maintenance and operation of state issued computers and programs.  Assists legislators with remote access to the legislative computer system, e-mail, and the internet.  Provides computer and audio/visual services for legislative committees.  Through the General Assembly website, the Bureau provides access to public information concerning the General Assembly and its committees.