Arkansas House Speaker Robert Moore today named Buddy Johnson, a House employee since 1985 and a former newsman, to be the parliamentarian to succeed Tim Massanelli, who retired last year.
The news release said Moore had consulted with Speaker-elect Darrin Williams on the choice and Williams concurred.
The news release doesn't mention consultation with the Republican caucus. Its members hope to win a majority in November and, if so, expect to elect one of their own, Rep. Terry Rice, as the next House speaker rather than Williams. That might, sooner or later, have some consequences for House staff.
But, for now ..... the announcement follows. Johnson will stay at his current pay level, $126,971. He serves at the will of the speaker.
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (July 9, 2012) — On Monday, July 9, Arkansas House Speaker Robert Moore, Jr. appointed Legislative Services Coordinator Buddy Johnson as Parliamentarian of the 88th General Assembly.
Buddy Johnson previously served as Coordinator of Legislative Services and Assistant Parliamentarian. He began working for the House in 1985 as its Information Director. Before that, he worked as a news reporter for United Press International and for the Benton Courier.
A native of Ashdown, Arkansas, Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
He is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and its state affiliate and is a member of American Institute of Parliamentarians.
Mr. Johnson will replace our long time serving Parliamentarian Tim Massanelli. Massanelli has served as Parliamentarian since 1973. During his service, 19 Speakers of the House, 7 Governors, and over 1,000 members have relied on his expertise.
“I am happy to report that Mr. Massanelli will still be available in an advisory role to assist when needed,” said Speaker Moore. “I have spoken to Tim at length about his wishes and what is best for the House. I am thankful that Tim will be available to lend his decades of knowledge as we move forward. I have also been in close contact with Speaker-designate Darrin Williams to make sure I had his full support before making the appointment.”
Speaker-designate Williams informed Speaker Moore that he will appoint Buddy Johnson as Parliamentarian for the 89th General Assembly.
“Buddy Johnson is dedicated to this institution and to this state,” said Williams. “He has over 27 years of experience in the House. His knowledge of rules and procedure will be a great asset during the 89th General Assembly.”
The Parliamentarian for the Arkansas House assists the Speaker in deciding all points of order. He or she also assists the Speaker in the preparation of the daily House calendar and assigning bills to their appropriate committee.