Critical Infrastructure Protection Legislation Heads to the Governor’s Desk

On the last day of lame duck session, the Senate concurred with the House’s minor changes to amend Senate Bill 33, which strengthens protections for critical infrastructure.

Critical infrastructure projects outlined in this bill include railroads, water treatment facilities, substations, telecommunications infrastructures, pipelines and/or freight transportation facilities, just to name a few. Retailers, hospitals, schools and homes all rely on electricity, safe drinking water, telecommunications networks and the efficient transportation of products that this infrastructure provides, which is why the Ohio Chamber of Commerce designated this bill as a priority piece of legislation.

Passage of SB 33 came after significant opposition from environmental groups opposed to building the infrastructure necessary to a well-functioning economy. 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 penalizing 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 Chamber applauds the legislature’s passage of SB 33 and looks forward to supporting efforts in the new year that will make Ohio a better place to do business and keep our state moving in the right direction.