2023 HEALTH CARE EDITION
District Attorney Kim Ogg announced in an April 19 news release the cre- ation of a major narcotics unit within her oce, which will work with law enforcement to ensure fentanyl traf- ckers receive “the most serious pun- ishments,” including murder charges when appropriate. “My sta meets nearly every day with the victims and families of this fentanyl epidemic, and these meet- ings are heartbreaking,” Ogg said in the news release. “I am con- dent we can save lives by targeting the proteers of death for the most severe punishment the law allows and diverting addicts into treatment instead of prison.” While ongoing eorts to reduce fentanyl overdoses can’t bring back Kim Gillihan’s son, she said she hopes his story can be used to help educate other families. She urges parents to talk with their kids about fentanyl. Hannah Norton contributed to this report.
HOUSE BILL 6
SENATE BILL 645
SEN. JOAN HUFFMAN, RHOUSTON Would make it a rst-degree felony to manufacture or distribute fentanyl that leads to someone’s death. This would include a prison sentence of at least 10 years and $100,000-$250,000 in nes. Pending in House as of press time.
REP. CRAIG GOLDMAN, RFORT WORTH
Would classify fentanyl overdoses as poisonings on death certicates and require medical examiners to list “homicide” as the manner of death. Sent to Abbott’s desk as of press time.
As tackling the fentanyl crisis was one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s top priorities this session, dozens of bills were led related to the issue.
SOURCE: TEXAS LEGISLATURE ONLINE COMMUNITY IMPACT
The Texas Senate passed its own version of this measure in Senate Bill 645 on March 15. Filed by Sen. Joan Human, RHouston, the bill would make it a rst-degree felony to man- ufacture or distribute fentanyl that leads to someone’s death. It was left pending in the House as of press time. At the county level, Harris County SEN. DONNA CAMPBELL, RNEW BRAUNFELS Would require local school health advisory councils to educate students on the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl. Pending in House as of press time.
between life and death,” Oliverson said during the March 13 hearing. HB 6, led by Rep. Craig Goldman, RFort Worth, would classify fentanyl overdoses as poisonings on death certicates, allowing prosecutors to charge drug dealers with murder. It passed both chambers and was sent to Abbott’s desk as of May 24. SEN. JOSÉ MENÉNDEZ, DSAN ANTONIO Would require Texas teachers and other public school sta to be trained in administering Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal drug. Passed both chambers as of press time.
The strips are used to check if other drugs contain fentanyl, but they are currently considered drug paraphernalia under Texas law. The bill passed the House on April 11 and was left in the Senate as of press time. “The ability to know that whatever you think it is, is actually laced with fentanyl is in most cases the dierence REP. TOM OLIVERSON, RCYPRESS Would decriminalize fentanyl test strips, which are used to safely check if other drugs contain the opioid. Test strips are currently considered drug paraphernalia. Pending in Senate as of press time.
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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SO IT WAS POISON IVY AFTER ALL.
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