Senate Passes FOIA Exemption For Personal Records Of Police

Mar 30, 2017

File photo of Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch)
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that exempts certain personal information about law enforcement officers from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep, Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale) allows law enforcement officers in the state to submit a request to their county assessor, recorder or clerk asking for their personal property records or tax records to be confidential for a two-year period.

Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch), presented HB1866 in the Senate. He said the exemptions would only apply to information available online.

“It provides a small amount of privacy by shielding their personal information from county websites… There’s certainly been a lot of misinformation about this bill. Nothing in the bill will prevent title searches or require any redaction of any document. This only shields information that is on the websites,” Stubblefield said.

The bill passed out of the 35-member Senate on a 22-18 vote Thursday. No one spoke against it. The bill now heads to the governor.

It’s one of several proposals this session that exempt information from being disclosed under the state’s 50-year old Freedom of Information Act. Other bills signed into law this session exempt from disclosure the records of the State Capitol Police, the security plans of schools and universities and the security plans of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.