Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- When you vandalizes a part of church or holy place you may not receive same punishment you would if you damaged the actual building itself. That's why lawmakers want to expand the definition of what is considered vandalism to houses of worship in South Carolina.
The bi-partisan bill is sponsored by some who are both lawmakers and clergymen.
The legislation will extend the consequences for vandalism beyond a building, but also and fixtures like AC units, or other associated facilities.
"Places of worship are not only sacred places, they're community places like our government buildings our schools they're centerpieces of our communities. And so we want to make sure that we protect those central pieces of our communities and this law is important because we already have a precedence in doing that, but we want people to feel safe. We want people who are in places of worship to feel like their properties and their investments in their properties are safe," Sen. Clementa Pinckney, a Jasper County pastor.
The bill cleared a senate subcommittee, and is expected to go before the full judiciary committee next week.