Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the bill’s passage and said those who 'kill Texans' will face justiceThe Texas Senate passed a "Combating Fentanyl" bill Wednesday that would open the door for state prosecutors to charge fentanyl distributors with murder.
Introduced by Sen. Joan Huffman, a Republican, Senate Bill 645 would change the classification of drug overdoses to "poisonings."
"We have tragically learned the extent of how dangerous fentanyl is and how even under 1 gram is so dangerous," Huffman said Wednesday, introducing the bill. "It’s a fact that fentanyl is flooding our borders. It is absolutely, without a doubt killing our citizens on a daily basis. And it’s time that we take a comprehensive approach to combat this."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the bill’s passage in a tweet late Wednesday night.
"Here we go!" Abbott tweeted. "You kill Texans with fentanyl. You get charged with murder."
The bill achieves one of Abbott’s legislative priorities by cracking down on the illegal passage of lethal drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border. Abbott has sought to bolster border security and increase penalties for drug violations.
The bill will increase the penalty for making or delivering fentanyl, including amounts less than 1 gram, to a third-degree felony.
The bill unanimously cleared the Senate and will head to the state legislature.