The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week on Senate Bill 33 (SB 33), legislation that strengthens protections for critical infrastructure. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce provided testimony in support of the bill. While fortunately Ohio has not faced the sort of disruptions seen elsewhere, taking this proactive step would protect Ohio’s economy and improve our business climate.
This infrastructure is vital to a well-functioning economy. Retailers, hospitals, schools, and homes all rely on electricity, safe drinking water, telecommunications networks and the efficient transportation of products that this infrastructure provides.
Ohio’s abundant natural resources, such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River, lead to ports and rail facilities that businesses rely on. The continued growth of Ohio’s economy depends on businesses being assured that capital investments in infrastructure in our state are safe from physical damage.
Deterring and punishing those who seek to tamper or destroy these, or any piece of critical infrastructure, is necessary to allow job growth to continue and to protect the communities and residents. Tampering with this infrastructure could lead to disruptions in the services and comforts that have come to define life in a modern economy. The Ohio Senate passed similar legislation at the end of the last General Assembly by a bipartisan vote. The Ohio Chamber urges the committee to pass SB 33 quickly.