House and Senate negotiators in conference committee yesterday advanced a bill that would make those convicted of graffiti damage more accountable for their actions.
The bill, House Bill 2129 H.D. 1 S.D. 1, would require a person convicted of criminal property damage involving graffiti to remove the graffiti within 30 days of sentencing and to perform community service over a time period that cannot exceed 2 years. With this bill, judges can require perpetrators to remove any graffiti within 100 feet of the offense.
The bill was introduced by State Representative Henry Aquino (35 - Pearl City, Waipahu). The freshman lawmaker represents a district on Oahu where graffiti is rampant and for years has been an everyday battle.
"This measure sends clear messages of deterrence and accountability,” said Rep. Aquino. “If you break the law, you will invest a lot of time and effort in paying for the crime. The community has tolerated this for quite some time, and we are now getting tougher on graffiti-related crimes. I believe this will help to decrease the number of incidents in our neighborhoods."
The bill will go before the House and Senate floor next week for a full vote, and, if passed, will go to the governor for signing. The bill will become law upon approval.