Cheyenne police say they're hopeful a bill to toughen penalties for people who commit serious offenses while fleeing police will receive Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon's approval.

Current state law provides only a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months and/or a $750 fine, something police have been pushing to change.

"Forty-seven states have some form of aggravated eluding in their statutes," said Officer Kevin Malatesta. "Us, Maryland and Massachusetts are the only states that don't."

Under Senate File 127, a fleeing person who injures someone or causes more than $10,000 in property damage could be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

"There should be consequences for those actions," said Malatesta. "We shouldn't just hold it to the same level as being just a regular traffic offense."

The bill passed the legislature on Friday and is awaiting Gov. Gordon's signature or veto. If signed, the law would take effect July 1.

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