(KMOV.com) -- The Washington State Patrol says lawmakers should be shielded from arrest or civil process during the session, except for serious offenses.
The agency claims that provision is in the state constitution and that stopping them could prevent elected officials from getting to the capitol to vote.
But a political professor says that’s misinterpreting the constitution because when legislators are driving to session they aren’t acting in their official capacity.
“I think it’s a terrible idea in this time when the public has a lot of mistrust in politicians and believe they get favored treatment,” said Washington State University professor Carolyn Long. “So we ought to re-evaluate the application of the law and make sure it’s consistent. Get some direction from the Attorney General.”
The Washington State House Whip says there’s no excuse for lawmakers to miss a vote as they are scheduled and don’t happen every day.