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Pa. State Legislator Wants Penalties Stiffened Historic Structure Arson

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Bucks County, Pa., June 28, 2007 - State Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks) has introduced legislation to increase penalties for those who set fire to a historic structures in Pennsylvania.

"In Bucks County last month, one of our treasured covered bridges was set on fire in Springfield Township," said Clymer. "Fortunately, the blaze extinguished on its own before severe damage was incurred. However, because of the historic significance of the bridge, as well as other historic structures, I think increased penalties are needed to deter such crime."

The proposed legislation states that any person intending to damage or destroy a historic resource belonging to another would be guilty of a second-degree felony and receive a mandatory prison term of no less than one year.

An historic resource is defined as a building or structure, including a covered bridge, which has either been in existence for more than 100 years or is listed in the. National Register of Historic Places or the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places.

House Bill 1607 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

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