Arkansas lawmakers advance drastically scaled-back hate crimes measure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Editor’s note: The video shown above is from March 13, 2021.

An Arkansas Senate panel has advanced a drastically scaled-back hate crimes bill that is being derided by longtime supporters of such legislation for not including specific references to race, sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday endorsed the measure which requires someone to serve at least 80 percent of their sentence if they committed a serious violent felony against someone due to several broad characteristics. 

Unlike an original hate crimes bill that has stalled, the legislation no longer refers to specific classes that would be covered.