Arkansas legislators would get
special treatment from law enforcement during and between sessions under a bill
filed in the state House Feb. 8.
Rep. Charles Ormond, D-Morrilton,
has introduced legislation that would exempt lawmakers from being taken into
custody for misdemeanors during session – regular or special. The leniency
would extend to the two days before and after that session begins and ends.
The bill – HB1492 – also would
prevent lawmakers from being taken into custody on misdemeanors while traveling
back and forth to Little Rock for committee meetings between sessions.
According to the Arkansas News
Bureau, two years ago, Ormond asked the state attorney general whether
lawmakers can be ticketed and arrested when traveling to and from legislative
sessions. The attorney general said lawmakers lacked special privileges and
they could be ticketed and arrested like everyone else.
Ormond said at the time he asked
for the opinion because he and his counterparts in the Capitol thought they
were immune from speeding tickets during the session.
Any member of law enforcement who
fails to abide by the provision would face a fine of $100.
HB1492 has been referred to the
House Rules Committee.