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Ohio House Passes Legislation to Combat Fentanyl Crisis, Update Non-Profit Corporation Law

April 24, 2024
D. J. Swearingen News

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COLUMBUS –The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 230, legislation to directly combat drug and human trafficking in Ohio, announced bill sponsor, State Rep. D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron). Swearingen sponsored the legislation alongside State Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison).  

House Bill 230 comes as a result of the staggering increase in drug overdoses, specifically fentanyl poisoning, in Ohio and throughout the United States. Since the bill’s initial introduction on June 27, 2023, roughly 3,624 Ohioans and 57,380 Americans have died of fentanyl poisoning, according to statistics provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.   

“This bill will ensure that the appropriate individuals face consequences for their horrific actions,” said Swearingen. “It is our responsibility to support law enforcement, protect all Ohioans, and make Ohio the best place to live and thrive.” 

Key provisions of the bill are outlined below: 

  • Increases drug trafficking charges for cocaine, fentanyl-related compounds, heroin and methamphetamine; 
  • Expands the definition of human trafficking; 
  • Establishes a 5-year mandatory minimum prison term if an individual is convicted of or pleads guilty to a fentanyl-related death;  
  • Designates August as “Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month”; 
  • Requires public schools to instruct students on the dangers of fentanyl; and  
  • Allows law enforcement to conduct oral fluid testing. 

The Ohio House also passed House Bill 301 sponsored by Swearingen. This legislation will update Ohio’s non-profit corporation law and allow religious organizations to opt-in to the unincorporated non-profit association.  

Both pieces of legislation now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.