Initiatives & Referendums

November 08, 2017
The Arkansas General Assembly has referred two (2) Constitutional Amendments to the electorate. These issues will be on the November 2018 ballot.

Issue 1 was ruled unconstitutional by The AR Supreme Court on 10/18/2018

** Issue 1 - Senate Joint Resolution 8 Cap on Attorney's Fee and Damages Awards in Lawsuits Amendment
Popular Name - A Constitutional Amendment Limiting contengency fees and awards of punitive and non-economic damages; and changing the powers of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court regarding rules of pleading, practice, and procedure.
Ballot Title - Proposing an Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to limit attorneys' contingency fees in civil actions to thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3 %) of the net recovery; to limit awards of punitive damages and non-economic damages in civil actions; to require adjustments to the limitations on punitive and non-economic damage awards for inflation or deflation; and to provide that the General Assembly may, by a three-fifths vote of each house, amend or repeal a rule of pleading, practice, or procedure prescribed by the Supreme Court and adopt a rule of pleading, practice, or procedure.


This information was obtained from the Arkansas House and Senate websites.

** 09/06/2018 Circuit Court Judge Mackie Pierce issued an order Thursday afternoon in which he found that the various sections of Issue 1 were not “reasonably germane” to each other, a violation of the state Constitution.
A spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin said the office plans to appeal the ruling, citing the expectation do so
(sic) by the Legislature, which voted to place Issue One on the ballot in 2017.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette Online 09/06/2018

Issue 2 - House Joint Resolution 1016 Voter ID Amendment
Popular Name - A Constitutional Amendment Adding as a Qualification to Vote that a Voter Present Certain Valid Photographic Identification When Casting a Ballot In Person or Casting an Absentee Ballot.
Ballot Title - An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning the presentation of valid photographic identification when voting; requiring that a voter present valid photographic identification when voting in person or when casting an absentee ballot; and providing that the State of Arkansas issue photographic identification at no charge to eligible voters lacking photographic identification.


The following have met the signature requirements and will be on the November 2018 ballot.

Issue 3 was ruled unconstitutional by The AR Supreme Court on 10/19/2018

Issue 3 - Arkansas Term Limits Amendment
Ballot Title - A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning term limits for members of the Arkansas General Assembly; to provide that no person may be elected to more than three {3) two-year terms as a member of the House of Representatives, to more than two (2) four-year terms as a member of the Senate, or to any term that, if served, would cause the member to exceed a total of ten {10) years of service in the General Assembly; to repeal Section 2{c) of Amendment 73 that established a years-of-service limit on members of the General Assembly of sixteen {16) years; to provide that the ten-year service limit shall include all two {2) and four (4) year terms, along with full years of any partial term served as a result of a special election to fill a vacancy; to apply the limits to terms and service in the General Assembly on and after January 1, 1993; to provide that this amendment shall not cut short or invalidate a term to which a member of the General Assembly was elected prior to the effective date of this amendment; to provide that notwithstanding the General Assembly's constitutional authority to propose amendments to the Constitution, the General Assembly shall not have the authority to propose an amendment to the Constitution regarding term limits for the House of Representatives or Senate, and to continue reserving that power to the people under Article 5, Section I, as amended by Amendment 7; and to declare that if any provision of this amendment should be held invalid, the remainder shall stand.

This information was obtained from the Arkansas Attorney General website.

Issue 4 - Casino Gaming at Casinos
Popular Name - An Amendment to Require Four Licenses to be Issued for Casino Gaming at Casinos, One Each in Crittenden (to Southland Racing Corporation), Garland (to Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc.), Pope, and Jefferson Counties.

This information was obtained from the Arkansas Secretary of State website.

Issue 5 - An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage
Ballot Title - An Act to amend the Arkansas Code concerning the State minimum wage; the Act would raise the current State minimum wage from eight dollars and fifty cents ($8.50) per hour to nine dollars and twenty-five cents ($9.25) per hour on January 1, 2019, to ten dollars ($10.00) per hour on January 1, 2020, and to eleven dollars ($11.00) per hour on January 1, 2021

This information was obtained from the Arkansas Secretary of State website.