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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2018 01:17 PM
From: Senator Sharif Street and Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Daylin Leach, Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updates to the Institutional Vandalism Statute
In the near future, we will reintroduce a bill that amends section 3307 of Title 18 (institutional vandalism) to enhance the existing statute and make several technical changes meant to give a district attorney expanded options for combating vandalism of sacred spaces such as faith institutions, cemeteries, or memorials.

We introduced this bill last year as Senate Bill 571 after it was reported that approximately 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia were found toppled to the ground in an act of vandalism. This crime was more than vandalism. It was hate.

Since then, our nation has witnessed an increased number of crimes or threats committed against religious institutions. These acts or threats are unacceptable in our nation, where we pride ourselves on our foundation of free exercise of religion.

We must stand up to those individuals who think it is acceptable to attack or threaten individuals or institutions because of what they believe. Please join us in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB71