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Committee offers unanimous support for protecting critical infrastructure

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A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed a bill to protect the state’s pipelines and other critical infrastructure from harmful acts of trespassing and tampering.

On April 30, the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety voted 9-0 to pass House Bill 954.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Knight, a Republican from Lebanon, would create stronger penalties for willfully trespassing onto critical infrastructure facilities. The legislation would also boost penalties for willfully damaging these facilities.

The bill defines of the types of facilities that would be included under its provisions, including many types of energy facilities, pipelines, transportation infrastructure, communications facilities and certain types of manufacturing facilities. The full list is included in the bill text.

Deterring people from entering and tampering with these facilities are a new set of stronger penalties. The bill would make willfully trespassing on those facilities a Class B misdemeanor, make trespassing with intent to damage a Class A misdemeanor and make willfully causing damage a Class C felony.

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports the legislation and is advocating for its passage.

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