COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank Hoagland
(R-Mingo Junction) yesterday announced the Senate passage of his bill to help protect critical infrastructure in Ohio by enhancing penalties associated with certain types of wrongful acts that disrupt vital operations. The measure passed by a vote of 24-8.
"Various forms of critical infrastructure provide essential energy, communications and vital services and products to the entire state," said Senator Hoagland. "Today's vote is an important step in protecting these facilities from vandalism and other destructive acts that have a devastating impact on our communities' ability to function."
Senate Bill 33 prohibits criminal mischief, trespassing and aggravated criminal trespassing and would impose fines on organizations that are found to be complicit with these offenses.
The bill was inspired by a number of reports of tampering with valves and controls at pipeline facilities that can create extremely dangerous situations for employees of those facilities as well as citizens in the community.
Critical Infrastructure includes all of the following but is not limited to: