LITTLE ROCK, AR - Former State Representative & State Senator Jim Hill died at his home in Nashville (Howard County) this morning, following a lengthy illness. He was 74.
Governor Mike Beebe issued the following statement on Hill's death:
"Jim Hill was a dear and trusted friend whose life was dedicated to service, be it as a United States Marine or as a member of the Arkansas General Assembly. Working alongside Jim for many years, I got to enjoy the dry wit that peppered his conversations and debates. It was a disarming trait that left smiles on the faces of friends and adversaries alike."
According to a bio on the website of Henderson State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Hill was elected and served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1993 to 1996 before moving on to the State Senate. He was elected by his colleagues to be the President Pro Tem of the Senate for the 84th General Assembly (2003).
As a House member, Hill was vice chairman of the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. When he was a state representative, he was the chief House sponsor of Amendment 75, which voters approved to enact the 1/8 cent conservation tax that helps fund the Game and Fish Commission and the Parks and Tourism Department.
Hill had been active in raising funds for diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Senator Hill also served on the board of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, and in 2004 he received the organization's prestigious James C. East Prostate Cancer Awareness Award for outstanding service.
In private life, Hill was a cattle rancher and timber producer in Nashville. He had also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for seven years.
Arkansas Democratic Party chair Vince Insalaco also released a statement about Hill:
"Today, the thoughts and prayers of all of us at the DPA go out to Jim's wife Charlotte and his entire family. Those of you who know me know that I believe there is no nobler ambition in life than serving the public and working for the betterment of one's community and home. Jim dedicated his life to the service of his country and state, and Arkansas is better off for it."