Arkansas Senate OKs alternate, scaled-back hate crimes bill

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FILE (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Senate has approved a stripped down hate crimes bill derided by long time supporters of such legislation who claim the measure is too vague.

The Senate approved the measure Wednesday, sending it to the House.

The bill requires offenders to serve at least 80% of their sentence if they commit a crime against someone because of their “mental, physical, biological, cultural, political, or religious beliefs or characteristics.”

Longtime hate crimes legislation supporters have criticized the bill for not referring to classes such as race, sexual orientation or gender identity.

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