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Gallagher Commends Congress for Proposal to Put Controls on Meth-Making Products under Patriot Act

12/16/2005

CONTACT: 
Tami Torres or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a package of measures aimed at making it harder for methamphetamine "cooks" to obtain the common ingredients needed to make the drug.  The drug package is wrapped into the Patriot Act anti-terrorism bill and heads to the Senate.  Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who also serves as state fire marshal, made the following statement:
 
"I am encouraged and support Congress' taking steps to control access to the products needed to manufacture methamphetamine.   Meth labs pose a high-level threat to our communities, as evidenced by the 1,000 percent increase in meth labs found in Florida in less than five years.  This drug is tearing apart families and destroying lives.
 
"Earlier this year while announcing proposals for combating meth in Florida, I described these labs as the equivalent of a domestic terrorist threat.  That is why I am pleased that Congress intends to incorporate their proposals into the U.S. Patriot Act, acknowledging that this drug poses a real threat to the security of our communities.
 
"In Florida, meth labs have been found in suburban and rural neighborhoods, state parks, hotels and motels, and in automobiles traveling on our highways.  The State Fire Marshal's Office has responded to more than 50 meth lab fires and explosions, including four in the last 10 days. 
 
"Congress has stepped forward to confront the meth crisis.  Now Florida must continue to do its part and expand our response to combat this evil drug."
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.