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AG backs lawmaker immunity bill

AG backs lawmaker immunity bill Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is advising the Legislature to forge ahead with a bill making clear that lawmakers can't avoid arrest for drunken driving or other crimes during the months of session.

But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Latz responded Thursday that he's not convinced that a new law is required to resolve what he sees as a misunderstanding of current law.

Swanson's nonbinding opinion issued this week surrounds a hot-button bill that would explicitly revoke any "privilege from arrest" that lawmakers have during session. It's a clause in the Constitution, but how far the privilege extends is a point of controversy. Some lawmakers are pushing legislation to remove any doubt that criminal acts make lawmakers subject to arrest.

Latz says a "coordinated, robust education effort" should suffice.

JW Cox

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