Propelled by a nationwide surge in hate crimes, lawmakers in several states are working to deter potential offenders with harsher punishments.
Bills in New York would, among other things, make cemetery desecration a felony, and a Connecticut bill promises to be the most comprehensive hate crime legislation to date by introducing a sweeping collection of new statutes.
In Alabama, lawmakers have introduced legislation to classify threats against houses of worship and schools as acts of terrorism. In Illinois, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has pledged to support Democratic-sponsored legislation that would eliminate coverage loopholes and introduce a civil component to hate crime cases.
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