November 10, 2010 Edition

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Rep. Ratliff receives
assignments, ranking

State Representative-elect James Ratliff was among members of the Arkansas House of Representatives who gathered at the State Capitol in Little Rock last week, ahead of the 2011 Regular Session, which begins in January.

The post-election organizational meeting is held every biennium to provide newly-elected representatives a chance to meet other House members. New representatives also draw for their seniority rank in the House, and all 100 members receive assignments to various legislative committees.

Ratliff was ranked at 82nd after the drawing. He was also named to the Judiciary Committee and the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee.

He was among those named as alternates to the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee.

The 88th General Assembly has 47 newly-elected members. That is the most of any freshman class since 1999, when there were 56 new members. That was the year term limits became effective for members of the House.

House Speaker-Designate Robert Moore (D-Arkansas City) says despite the large group of incoming members, he is confident there will be a smooth transition to the next legislative session.

"The men and women coming to the House for the first time have been leaders in their communities, and I have no doubt they will be fully capable and ready to serve their districts," said Moore. "Senior members will help make sure new members know what is needed regarding the process in order to hit the ground running in January."

House members will gather for a formal orientation in December. The 2011 Regular Session begins Monday, Jan. 10.

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