(a) There is created the District Court Resource Assessment Board.
(b)(1) The board shall consist of eleven (11) members appointed as follows:
(A) Two (2) members of the Senate appointed by the Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary;
(B) Two (2) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary; and
(C) Seven (7) members appointed by the Supreme Court as follows:
(i) Two (2) members of the Arkansas District Judges Council;
(ii) One (1) member of the Association of Arkansas Counties;
(iii) One (1) member of the Arkansas Municipal League;
(iv) One (1) Justice of the Supreme Court;
(v) One (1) member of the Arkansas Bar Association who is engaged in the full-time private practice of law; and
(vi) One (1) circuit judge.
(2) The board shall have three (3) ex officio members who shall serve as nonvoting members:
(A) The Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary or his or her designee;
(B) The Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary or his or her designee; and
(C) The Attorney General or his or her designee.
(3)(A) Each member of the board shall serve a term of four (4) years.
(B) However, the initial board members shall serve terms to be determined by lot so that:
(i) Two (2) members serve an initial term of one (1) year;
(ii) Three (3) members serve an initial term of two (2) years;
(iii) Three (3) members serve an initial term of three (3) years; and
(iv) Three (3) members serve an initial term of four (4) years.
(C) A member may be reappointed successively for one (1) four-year term.
(4) If a vacancy occurs on the board, the original appointing authority shall appoint a successor to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
(5) The board shall elect annually one (1) member to serve as chair and one (1) member to serve as secretary.
(6) The board shall meet:
(A) Initially whenever called by the Supreme Court;
(B) On or before the first Tuesday of the December before each regular session of the General Assembly to consider making a recommendation to the General Assembly for:
(i) The creation and placement of new state-funded district court judgeships;
(ii) Any redistricting of the district courts; and
(iii) The reorganization, consolidation, abolition, or creation of any district court or district court judgeship;
(C) Upon the end of the term, resignation, retirement, death, or election to another judicial office of any district judge to:
(i) Recommend the reorganization, consolidation, abolition, or continuation of that district court judgeship to the General Assembly; and
(ii)(a) Evaluate the status of the vacated district court judgeship and make a recommendation to the General Assembly before the next regular session, fiscal session, or special session or during a current session.
(b) An appointment or election to fill a vacant district court judgeship does not affect the mandatory evaluation required by subdivision (b)(6)(C)(ii)(a) of this section; and
(D) Upon the call of the chair or a majority of the board.
(7) Six (6) members of the board is a quorum for the transaction of business.
(8) Members of the board shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for expenses under § 25-16-902 .
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