COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) today applauded passage of House Bill 296 by the Ohio House of Representatives. Sponsored by Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), this legislation increases penalties for certain drug offense crimes, when they are committed at or near a community addiction services provider and if the offender recklessly disregards the close proximity of the crime and the addiction services provider. The increased penalties mirror those in current law for drug trafficking offenses committed near a school or a juvenile.

“This legislation strengthens penalties against drug dealers who target those seeking recovery from drug addiction, and I was proud to vote in support of it,” said Rep. Arndt. “House Bill 296 seeks to ensure those in treatment will have fewer obstacles in their journey to recovery.”

House Bill 296 seeks to enact greater penalties for drug dealers who prey on recovering addicts brave enough to enter or stay at an addiction services facility. Ohio has seen some of the highest drug overdose death rates in the nation, and this bill strives to protect vulnerable individuals who are attempting to pull themselves out of the rapid, downward spiral of opioid abuse.

Having passed out of the House, House Bill 296 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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