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Southern Illinois Republicans Oppose Bill to Soften Penalties for Meth, Heroin, and Possession of All Controlled Substances

SPRINGFIELD – State Representatives Dave Severin (R-Benton), Republican ranking member of the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee, State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis), and State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) joined fellow Republicans in opposing House Bill 3447 on the Illinois House floor on Wednesday.

The legislation would drop the penalty for possession of 3 grams or less for most Schedule I and II controlled substances from a felony to a misdemeanor. Among the substances included on the list for reduction to a misdemeanor are fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, and opiates.

The three southern Illinois Republican legislators voted no on the bill and issued the following joint statement.

“On Wednesday, the Illinois House approved, by a slim majority, a measure that will make all Illinois communities more dangerous. The legislation does not just change the amounts of possession of hard, dangerous controlled substances that will be eligible for felony arrest, but also reduces the penalty for distributing certain amounts of those same substances.

This is a dangerous shift in public policy that we fear will exacerbate the current drug problems plaguing our communities that lead to overdoses and violence on our streets that ends lives of far too many people far too soon. We urge our colleagues in the Senate to soundly reject HB 3447, and Governor Pritzker to issue a statement in opposition to this irresponsible legislation.”