The bill, called the Public Servant Protection Act, would give all government employees, elected officials, and appointees at the local, state and federal levels the right to have their home addresses and phone numbers removed from any publicly displayed website.
It would also make it a criminal offense to post the home address or phone number of a government official, or of the official’s immediate family members, with the intent to cause them physical harm.
Penalties would include a fine and up to a year in prison—or, if injury results, up to life in prison.
“No public servant should be endangered or subject to harassment for doing their job,” Cotton said in a statement.
“But as activist mobs increasingly target elected officials and police officers, additional protection is warranted,” he continued. “Our bill will help shield government workers and officials by increasing penalties on malicious actors and protecting workers’ personal information.”
The bill’s co-sponsors include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., David Perdue, R-Ga., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., John Boozman, R-Ark., and Rick Scott, R-Fla.
“Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges already serve the public at tremendous risk,” Blackburn said in a statement.
“They should not be forced to live with the added fear of having their personal home information widely available on the internet for use by violent criminals,” she added. “Empowering these officials to keep their personal information private will help protect our protectors and their families.”
This bill is especially important for members of law enforcement, who are already under attack by radical leftists pushing policies like ‘Defund the Police,’ said Perdue.
“The ‘Defund the Police’ movement pushed by radical Democrats has led to an alarming increase in attacks on police officers, and their families,” he said.
“No public servant should ever be targeted for doing his or her job,” he added. “I will always stand with our law enforcement officers as they work to keep our communities safe.”