Idaho lawmakers passed a new trespassing bill yesterday for the first time since 1976.
The final tally was 80 in favor to 24 opposed, and while it doesn't change a whole lot about the laws of trespassing, it does give more incentive not to do it.
"The penalties have been $50, so I call it the pay to play, and if they were caught and actually prosecuted they would pay $50, and so it needed more teeth in the bill and that's what this does," said Idaho Farm Bureau President Bryan Searle.
Most of this trespassing problem is experienced by Searle and those affiliated with the farm bureau. They say people hunt and drive on their property, and sometimes even vandalize it with minimal penalty.
Now with the new bill, on a first offense the fine is $300, $1500 on the second, and $5000 for a third. Plus if there is more than $1000 done in damages, a person on their third offense could also face a felony charge.
But while the punishment is elevated, Searle says the intention of the bill is to prevent people from knowingly breaking the law.
"I think some of the fears in this bill was that people would become criminals for trespassing. Whether it was in town, whether it was girl scouts or missionaries or whatever, this bill doesn't do it, it doesn't change anything, it was in the last one they won't become criminals for walking across the corner of someone's property," said Searle.