MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) today passed legislation to protect the property of Alabama businesses by increasing the penalty for criminal trespass of critical infrastructure, a term that includes chemical manufacturing facilities, electrical tower substations, railroad switching yards, trucking terminals, and water treatment facilities.
Criminal trespass of such critical sites would now be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $6,000.
“These are extremely sensitive business sites that often contain dangerous chemicals or support our utility infrastructure,” Ward said. “Criminal trespass of these sites puts the pubic at risk and represents a huge loss in annual revenue to Alabama’s businesses and consumers.”
Previously, criminal trespass of critical infrastructure sites had been punishable only with a criminal violation, the maximum penalty for which is thirty days in jail and a fine of $200.
“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.”
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Republican Senator Cam Ward represents District 14 in the Alabama State Senate, which includes all or parts of Shelby, Bibb, Chilton, Hale, and Jefferson Counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.