The state House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that would make it illegal to expose or attempt to expose a law enforcement officer to a contagious disease.
House Bill 1618 creates two new offenses, graded by whether a person knew they were infected with a disease such as HIV or hepatitis B.
Assault of a law enforcement officer in the second degree would result in a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, while and assault of law enforcement officer in the third degree would result in up to seven years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.
The bill was authored by Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-York.
"Corrections officers are similarly protected under a section of the Crimes Code, and our law enforcement officers, who are exposed to similar dangers as they work in the field, deserve the same protection as those who deal in corrections," Gillespie said.
The bill will now be considered by the state Senate.