House Speaker Matthew Shepherd has made his second appointment to the independent citizens commission that meets annually to determine pay raises for state officials — the legislature, constitutional officers and judges. He is Tommy May of Pine Bluff, former CEO of Simmons First National Corporation.

May will succeed Stephen Tipton, whose four-year term expired. Shepherd had earlier named Nathan Evers of his hometown of El Dorado to one of the two seats controlled by the House speaker.  The governor, Senate president pro tem and chief justice all have appointments.  Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently named Jan Zimmerman and Chuck Banks, a reappointment, to the commission. Chief Justice Dan Kemp filled his one appointment with retired Justice Annabelle Imber Tuck. At last check Senate President Jim Hendren had not named his two appointees to fill expired terms.


The Commission was created by constitutional amendment in 2014 to take the political hot potato of pay raises out of a direct legislative vote. The legislatively referred amendment left legislative leaders in charge of the majority of seats, however. They got nearly a tripling of pay in the first round of commission deliberations but increases in years since have generally been in line with state employee pay raises, including one year with no increase. They’ve also retained tax-free per diem and mileage reimbursement at federal rates.