Recent public policy has too often prioritized criminals rather than focusing on bringing justice to the victims, said State Senator Sue Rezin. Senate Republicans stood together to put justice for crime victims front and center in a press conference.
During this press conference, the Senators highlighted several policy responses aimed at reducing fentanyl deaths and protecting victims of domestic abuse, drunk driving, and childcare center threats. The legislation includes:
Senate Bill 73: Increases the charge of unlawfully selling or dispensing any drug containing fentanyl to a Class X felony that would face no less than 9 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
House Bill 3203: Expands the availability of fentanyl test strips by allowing them to be sold over the counter and enables county health departments to provide them for free.
Senate Bill 1086: Changes cause of death from fentanyl overdose to fentanyl poisoning to reduce the stigma surrounding fentanyl deaths.
Senate Bill 1976: Creates the charge of Domestic Assault, making it easier for police officers to go after domestic offenders who knowingly place any household member in fear of serious harm. It also ensures that defendants released from custody ahead of trial will be ordered to refrain from contacting their victims or entering their residences for a minimum of 72 hours.
Senate Bill 1974: Increases a Domestic Battery charge to Aggravated Domestic Battery when the act of violence is committed against someone 60 years or older.
Senate Bill 1405: Creates a blended sentencing provision for aggravated driving under the influence where an accident kills one person and inflicts great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to one person or more.
Senate Bill 1968: Puts daycares in line with schools by making it a felony to threaten a childcare institution or daycare center building or threaten violence, death, or bodily harm directed against someone at one of these facilities.
Sen. Rezin says these proposals work to support those impacted by crime in ways that are not covered in current legislation. He says it is our responsibility to make sure victims are heard, and these bills go a long way to helping achieve that justice.