It will create a new offense of Aggravated Criminal Mischief with enhanced penalties (class D felony) applicable when an individual knowingly damages or tampers with critical utility infrastructure intending to disrupt utility services.
In recent years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have issued repeated warnings about domestic terrorists and extremist groups targeting critical utility infrastructure.
Bulletins issued through DHS’ National Terrorism Advisory System in 2022 warned of a heightened threat environment based, in part, on “continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure.” Physical and computerized attacks on electric utility equipment have reached a 10-year high in 2022. Recent attacks in Washington and North Carolina have caused substantial outages and damage to the power grids in both states.
I am pleased that several Republican sponsors below have turned against Trumpian terrorism. The bill was released from Committee yesterday.
|House Bill 91 – Punishing Trumpian Terrorist Attacks on Utility Infrastructure||Currrent Status – Out of Committee 4/4/23|
|House Sponsors – Bush, Bolden, Chukwuocha, Osienski, Schwartzkopf, Williams // Briggs King, Gray, Hilovsky, Short||Senate Sponsors – Hansen, Hoffner, Mantzavinos, Sokola, Walsh // Lawson, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Wilson|
|House Yes Votes –||Senate Yes Votes –|
|House No Votes –||Senate No Votes –|
|House Absents or Not Voting –||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|
Representative Bill Bush, the bill sponsor: “Across our nation, extremist groups and domestic terrorists have been carrying out targeted attacks on critical infrastructure, causing power outages and service disruptions for residents. Just last year, DHS’ National Terrorism Advisory System warned of a heightened threat environment based, in part, on “continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure. The Public Safety Committee voted today to release my HB 91, which addresses this issue by creating the offense of Aggravated Criminal Mischief and holds accountable those who intentionally damage our critical infrastructure.”