MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously passed a bill creating mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of trafficking fentanyl.
Bill sponsor Matt Simpson (R-Daphne) brought a one-gram packet of sugar to the House floor to illustrate the deadliness of the drug.
“If this was fentanyl, if this was pure fentanyl, it could kill every member of the House of Representatives five times over,” Simpson said.
His bill adds sentencing guidelines for those convicted of trafficking the synthetic opioid. For one to two grams, a person would serve at least three years in prison. For eight or more grams, it’s life in prison.
Simpson said the widespread support for the bill is a testament to the dangers of the drug.
The bill passed 105 to zero, with 101 lawmakers signing on as cosponsors.
“To come to the microphone and say only positive things about the bill, that shows just how dangerous fentanyl is in our community,” Simpson said. “It doesn’t know Republican, it doesn’t know Democrat, it doesn’t know Black, it doesn’t know white, it doesn’t know anything other than the fact that it just kills.”
Lawmakers from across the aisle shared their support for the bill.
“We got to understand that this stuff is deadly and it’s coming from the south border and if we don’t curtail it now, we’re going to lose another generation,” Rep. Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville) said.
Gov. Kay Ivey has also supported the bill. In a tweet, she urged lawmakers to quickly send the legislation to her desk so she can sign it into law.
Before heading to her desk, the bill now goes to the Senate for the first week of April. Lawmakers will be on spring break all next week.