NY Senate OKs stiffer penalties for heroin, opioid dealers
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state may soon have a new way to prosecute dealers who sell heroin or opioids that result in a lethal overdose.
The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday night to create a new criminal classification of "homicide by sale of an opiate controlled substance."
Supporters of the bill say that under current law too many dealers linked to fatal overdoses only face charges of illegal drug sales.
The bill now moves to the Assembly. It's one of several measures under consideration as lawmakers seek to address the state's heroin and opioid problem.
Lawmakers included more than $200 million in this year's state budget for efforts to prevent and fight addiction, a problem that Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says could be "the biggest scourge of our time."