Illinois Senate Republicans held a press conference to spotlight legislation aimed at reducing fentanyl deaths and protecting victims of domestic abuse, driving under the influence, and childcare center threats. The conference featured State Senators Sally Turner (R-Beason) and Steve McClure (R-Springfield), who are both sponsoring key bills that prioritize justice for crime victims.
Senator Turner is sponsoring Senate Bill 73, which would increase penalties for selling drugs containing fentanyl and prevent fentanyl deaths. The legislation proposes that anyone unlawfully selling or dispensing any drug that contains a detectable amount of fentanyl is guilty of a Class X felony and faces no less than nine to 40 years in prison, in addition to a fine of up to $250,000. The bill aims to address the alarming rise in deaths due to drugs laced with fentanyl. Senator Turner is also the Senate sponsor of House Bill 3203, which would expand the availability of test strips capable of detecting even trace amounts of fentanyl that substances may be laced with. The legislation would allow test strips to be sold over the counter and enable county health departments to provide them for free.
“Fentanyl is in each and every one of our communities and many of us even know someone who has been touched by a fentanyl death,” said Sen. Turner. “We can take decisive action today to slow the spread of fentanyl and prevent deaths.”
Senator McClure is advocating for legislation that prioritizes justice for victims and protects Illinois’ daycare facilities. Senate Bill 1405 would create 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. The legislation would allow for justice to be served for all victims, instead of just one.
“In Springfield, Lindsey Sharp and her child were hit by a drunk driver while walking in a parking lot. Not only did that little boy have to watch his mother die, but he also suffered significant injuries,” said Sen. McClure. “Unfortunately, the perpetrator could only be punished for the death of Lindsey and not for injuring her son. My legislation would ensure that all victims receive justice.”
Senator McClure also introduced legislation to address threats to people in daycare facilities in the same manner as threats made to people in schools. Senate Bill 1968 would make it a felony to threaten a childcare institution or daycare center building or threaten violence, death, or bodily harm directed against someone at a daycare facility.