Criminal Justice Bill Stymied Again

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

By John Moritz

An omnibus bill aimed at changing Arkansas’ criminal-justice system stalled again Wednesday in a Senate committee, where it has been for weeks as sponsors try to hammer out details through negotiations with county groups.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, expressed frustration as fellow committee members asked to defer action on the 46-page bill so they could have more time to read it.

Crafted from the final recommendations of a legislative task force that he co-chaired for more than a year and a half, Hutchinson filed the Criminal Justice Efficiency and Safety Act, or Senate Bill 136, in mid-January.