State Sen. Marc Panepinto released the following statement on the passage of his cosponsored bill, S.849:
"It's deeply concerning that, even in the year 2015, the vandalizing of religious property is as pervasive as ever. This bill not only increases penalties on these hateful crimes, but introduces an educational component to them as well. By requiring the offenders to complete a diversity training program and to remove the graffiti from the property they damaged, we are taking the necessary steps in curbing future repeat offenses. Most importantly, this bill defends our religious freedoms by combatting these gang-related and isolated crimes that are all too often used to insight hate and fear towards a particular religion or faith-based community."
S.849, cosponsored by Panepinto, passed the Senate March 9.