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Relating to civil and criminal liability for engaging in certain conduct involving a critical infrastructure facility; creating criminal offenses.
The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of data
or information available on the number of times a person damaged, intended to damage, or
tried to interfere with the operations of a critical infrastructure facility. These data are
necessary to estimate the fiscal impact of the bill's provisions.
HB 3557 would create a third degree felony offense of damaging or destroying critical infrastructure facility (CIF) for a person who, without the effective consent of the owner, intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the facility, or impairs or interrupts its operation.
This bill would also create a state jail felony offense of intent to damage or destroy a CIF for a person who, without the effective consent of the owner, enters or remains on or in a critical infrastructure facility with the intent to damage or destroy the facility or impair or interrupt its operation. It would require the court to sentence a corporation or association found guilty of either offense to pay a fine of not more than $500,000. A judge may also order the defendant to pay restitution to the owner if the property is damaged or destroyed. A defendant may also be civilly liable for damages arising from the prohibited conduct.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 3557 as it neither advances nor hinders any of our liberty principles. It is appropriate to set legal consequences for the conduct described by this bill, and the Senate committee substitute addresses our concerns of excessive penalties as well as narrows the scope of the bill to certain conduct.