Michigan House Republicans
Bipartisan effort underway to combat opioid epidemic, bring fairness to justice system
RELEASE|October 12, 2023
Contact: Graham Filler

Reps. Filler, Skaggs, Wilson work together to address fentanyl crisis

State Reps. Graham Filler, Phil Skaggs, and Jimmie Wilson, Jr. are leading a bipartisan effort to protect Michigan residents from deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl while fostering fairness in the criminal justice system.

The plan introduced this week would allow stricter penalties for producing or distributing dangerous, highly addictive drugs like heroin and fentanyl.

“The opioid epidemic is a devastating tragedy that has stolen far too many lives from our communities,” said Filler, R-Clinton County. “To combat this crisis, we must recognize the severe dangers heroin and fentanyl pose to public health and safety and strengthen penalties for those who produce or distribute these drugs.”

A felony’s classification level factors into the sentencing decision after an individual is convicted. House Bills 5128-5130 would increase the felony class for crimes related to delivering or manufacturing heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil. A higher classification would increase the likelihood of tougher prison sentences for illegal drug producers and dealers.

The plan would also right-size penalties surrounding other Schedule 1 and Schedule II drugs, like ecstasy and codeine, with the intention of distinguishing the need for harsher penalties related to the most addictive and dangerous drugs, like heroin, fentanyl, and cafentinal.

“More Americans than ever are dying from fentanyl and heroin overdoses as the opioid epidemic crashes through every community and shatters families,” Rep. Phil Skaggs (D-East Grand Rapids) said. “I am grateful that we crafted a bi-partisan bill package aimed at giving law enforcement the tools they need to deal with illicit manufacturers and drug dealers. Increasing the penalties for people found guilty of distributing these harmful substances will help our communities become healthier, safer and more vibrant”

“I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan effort, in which legislators are taking seriously the ongoing negative effects that fentanyl and heroin continue to have on our communities,” said Wilson, D-Ypsilanti. “These bills target those who are causing so much harm to so many of our residents.”

House Bills 5128-5130 were referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee for consideration.


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