Proposed Bill That Prohibits Future Civil Rights Ordinances Passes Senate Committee
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – The Senate’s City, County and Local Affairs Committee approved a bill that would keep cities in the state from passing civil rights ordinances that are different from the federal law, officials say.
Arkansas Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, filed the bill in Little Rock on Feb. 2.
Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams said he wasn’t surprised to hear the state legislature may consider a bill that prohibits passing laws, like the civil rights ordinance, which Fayetteville voters repealed in December.
“I predicted, to the city council, that the legislature would attempt to preempt the area of civil rights so that Fayetteville, nor any other city, could pass an ordinance to protect the rights of gay and lesbian citizens from being discriminated against,” Williams said.
According to Hester, his bill would keep cities from making civil rights laws that go further than protections already offered by federal law.