The state Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo that increases the penalties for bank robberies.

The bill would increase the penalty for robbing a bank or financial institution to a class C felony.

The sentence for a class C felony is 7 to 15 years in prison

Griffo says his goal is to increase the safety of employees and consumers in banks, while also sending a message to potential criminals that robbing a bank is not a victimless crime.

It is a crime that we take very seriously and should punish very strongly. The bill would establish meaningful penalties to serve as an effective deterrent to these crimes and punish those who violate it appropriately." Griffo said.

If the bill is sign into law, it would go into effect on November 1st.