The Alabama Senate passed legislation Thursday which will increase penalties for “criminal trespass of critical infrastructure,” thereby better protecting Alabama businesses. “Critical infrastructure” references such establishments as chemical manufacturing facilities, electrical tower substations, railroad switching yards, trucking terminals and water treatment facilities.
SB217 from Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) would increase penalties for such crimes to a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $6,000 and a possible sentence of one year in prison. Previously, crimes of this nature were considered only a criminal violation, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.
“These are extremely sensitive business sites that often contain dangerous chemicals or support our utility infrastructure,” Ward said in the release. “Criminal trespass of these sites puts the public at risk and represents a huge loss in annual revenue to Alabama’s businesses and consumers.”
“We applaud Senator Ward’s leadership in championing this important piece of legislation protecting Alabama’s manufactures and their partners,” stated George Clark, President of Manufacture Alabama. “Ensuring the safety and security of our state’s vital industries allow them to build their businesses and grow Alabama’s economy.”
With its passage in the Senate, the bill is cleared to go before a House committee before going to the full House of Representatives.