- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Some Connecticut lawmakers want to toughen the state’s hate crimes laws, such as increasing penalties and creating a hotline and text line so people can report incidents of harassment or intimidation of minority groups.

Democrats in the General Assembly unveiled their proposed legislation Thursday. They say it’s in response to an uptick in hate-related crimes, including murders, assaults, bomb threats and vandalism targeting different groups across the country.

The proposal increases the penalty for making a bomb threat or other threat of violence against a church or other religious center to a Class C felony, punishable by one-to-10 years in prison. It’s currently a class D felony, punishable by one-to-five years in prison.

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano says he’s disappointed Democrats didn’t work with the GOP on the issue.

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