Arkansas, like most states, has a part-time legislature. That means most all of our members have another profession back home in his or her district. This year we have pastors, bankers, physicians, real estate agents, small business owners, attorneys and teachers.

In the days when most of the legislators spent their time between the Capitol and the farm, some members would show up for the last day of session in their overalls under a suit jacket.

And although we currently have several legislators in fact going back to the farm, our members opted for business attire for our final adjournment.

Sine Die is a Latin term meaning "without day". We adjourned Sine Die on Friday, May 17. Unless a special session is called, the 89th General Assembly will not convene as a whole again until the fiscal session in February 2014.

As we head back to our districts, we want to remind you about a very important deadline that is fast approaching.

The deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is June 1st.

High school students who have enrolled in a 4 year college or university and who graduate with either a 2.5 Grade Point Average (GPA) or score a 19 on the ACT are eligible for $2,000 scholarship for their first year. If the student maintains a 2.75 GPA , the scholarship increases by a $1,000 every year after.

Act 234 also sets the amount of the scholarship for students attending a 2 year university at $2,000 each year.

This year we also increased funding for non-traditional students from $12 million to $16 million in 2014. Without those funds, it would have been extremely difficult to award any new scholarships to adults with a desire to go back to school.

To apply for the Academic Challenge Scholarship, or any of the state’s other financial aid awards, a student only has to fill out one application. You can find the YOUniversal application on the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s (ADHE) website at There is even a smart phone application now available to make the process even easier.

We urge every eligible student to apply before it’s too late.