Del. Bryce Reeves, R-17th District, on Thursday introduced a Legislator Immunity Constitutional Amendment in the Virginia Senate.
"We have heard, time and again, from our constituents, “No legislator should be above the law," Reeves said. "Virginians elect their legislators expecting them to be responsible and accountable in both their public and private lives. As leaders and role models, we must conduct ourselves ethically and with transparency."
Reeves' amendment comes amid furor following Del. Chris Hurst blowing a .085 during a portable breath test during a traffic stop on Sunday morning, according to the Christiansburg Police Dept. Hurst was released and drove away.
"Today I requested to introduce a constitutional amendment, on the floor of the Virginia Senate," Reeves said. "The provision within the Virginia Constitution, that we seek to amend, enables legislators to not be held to the same legal standard as the constituents we serve. As a lifelong public servant, I have always sought to be worthy of the public’s trust. My intent in offering this constitutional amendment is to restore and maintain the public’s trust in their elected leaders."
Reeves amendment read:
RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, a majority of the members elected to each house agreeing, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates for its concurrence in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:
Amend Section 9 of Article IV of the Constitution of Virginia as follows:
Section 9. Immunity of legislators.
Members of the General Assembly shall,
in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the sessions of their respective houses; and for any speech or debate in either house shall not be questioned in any other place. They shall not be subject to arrest under any civil process during the sessions of the General Assembly, or during the fifteen days before the beginning or after the ending of any session.