State Representative Ron Bacon of Chandler is proposing legislation that would stiffen penalties for those who attack utility workers.
Bacon says utility workers face inherent dangers on the job and, in rare cases, from customers they serve.
Bacon says if a worker is on a property to disconnect a service, they can be an easy target for angry and aggressive residents.
Under his proposal, penalties for battery against a utility worker would be increased from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony.
If the battery results in bodily injury, it would constitute a Level 5 felony.
Bacon says the change would give utility workers the same protections as others who often have to enter private property in their line of work, like probation officers, EMTs, DCS employees or judicial officers.