June 28 – If a person picks up a gun and kills someone, that’s murder. They get charged for the crime.
But what about a drug dealer whose product kills a lot of people? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for what they reap?
State Senator Doug Mastriano thinks they should and he has introduced Tyler’s Bill, a piece of legislation that would look to create a mandatory, minimum punishment of 10 years in prison for fentanyl dealers.
Tyler’s Bill is in the Judiciary Committee in the PA Senate today and it looks like it will pass.
Mastriano said, “Tyler was a young man in Chambersburg who made a mistake. He bought a painkiller off the street, not really realizing that the dealer was dealing with a lethal batch of a painkiller mixed with fentanyl.”
Tyler, who was 18 years old, died as a result.
Mastriano said, “His mom who lives in our community, Laura, she was appalled to see not too long thereafter, the dealer was back out in the streets dealing in death. She wants justice. She wants these people to suffer consequences. I expect to see Tyler’s mom in the hearing this morning. That’s some good progress as well.”
In addition, last week, Mastriano’s Senate Bill 683 passed the Health and Human Services Committee. The bill would require testing for fentanyl and xylazine in patients.
Mastriano explained, “There’s been instances in Pennsylvania where somebody arrives in a coma and they’re not required to be tested for fentanyl or xylazine poisoning and they’ll get the regular treatment. Then they’ll die and after they die, post mortem they find out they had fentanyl. So this bill, if someone is coming in it’ll become routine in a hospital that they have to check. It’s a plague in our state, fentanyl and xylazine, and hopefully this will save some lives. It passed out of the health committee unanimously. I’m just thankful we’re having bills that are moving along.”
Senate Bill 683 now moves to the full Senate for approval, as will Tyler’s Bill if it gets out of committee today.