In December, the Ohio State Legislature seemed to be on the verge of passing a bill designed to penalize protests by environmental activists and groups. The bill, SB 250, would have increased penalties for trespassing at a “critical infrastructure” sites (which includes pipelines, oil refineries, and electric stations). The bill would also have imposed fines on organizations found to be complicit in the trespass. It is similar to about a dozen other bills that have been proposed around the country, based on a model proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
The bill had passed the Senate and was being considered by the House. Alarmed by the bill, the Athens Ohio City Council unanimously passed this resolution opposed to SB 250 on December 17. The state legislative session ended without the bill being passed.