The Indiana House
has approved legislation co-authored by State Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan
City, which targets drug dealers who cause death.
According to a
statement released on Monday, H.B. 1359 cleared the House by an 85-12 vote.
That bill would
increase criminal sentences for drug dealers whose illegal products--like
heroin and methamphetamine--cause death.
Joining Pelath on
the measure are State Reps. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, Tom Washburne,
R-Evansville, and Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City.
In his recent State
of the State Address, Gov. Eric Holcomb embraced the bill as a centerpiece
of his agenda.
“Like everyone else
in our region, I have had enough of hearing about one drug overdose after
another,” Pelath said.
“Most realize that
addiction treatment is the final answer to this scourge, but we have to keep
up the heat on dealers, suppliers, and drug cooks as well.”
“One insane and
insidious aspect of the illegal drug market is that deaths will often
increase demand for a product,” Pelath added.
“If your drug kills
someone, you should face a longer sentence. It might make some think twice.
It might force others to rat out the biggest suppliers above them.”
The measure now
moves on to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.