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Gallagher Commends Senate Judiciary Committee for Approving Meth Legislation in First Stop

4/19/2006

CONTACT:  Tami Torres or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher today commended the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for unanimously approving legislation that would better protect children, emergency responders and communities from toxic and flammable methamphetamine labs.  Gallagher, who first proposed these reforms last June, especially thanked Sen. Carey Baker, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 2356, and Rep. Faye Culp, who is sponsoring companion House Bill 1325.
 
 "This legislation focuses on four basic but important measures in the fight against methamphetamine use and manufacturing.
 
"Nearly half of all children rescued from homes or living areas used as meth labs test positive for meth and need urgent medical care and intervention.  This legislation would authorize the Department of Children and Families to begin dependency proceedings for the immediate removal of children found at meth labs.
 
"Too many meth manufacturers post bond after arrest and go right back to making the drug.  This legislation would allow the courts to hold meth producers without bail until trial. 
 
"This legislation also would make it a third or second-degree felony if any emergency responder is injured at a meth lab, and prevent them from having life or health insurance canceled because they have tested positive for meth as a result of performing their jobs.  
 
"We must do more than slap meth makers on the wrists, and today's vote is an important step toward stronger, more meaningful protections for our communities and the responders who serve them."