Robinson: Senate Passes Bail Bill to Protect Communities from Fentanyl and Dangerous Offenders

HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation today with bipartisan support to strengthen the bail determination process for dangerous individuals, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37).

Senate Bill 1120 – also known as the “Keeping Our Communities Safe” legislation – would prohibit the use of non-monetary bail for dangerous individuals, including a person who possesses 10 grams or more of fentanyl, has a history of violent crime, assaults a law enforcement officer or evades arrest on foot.

“Last year in Allegheny County, there was a case where an individual was granted release on non-monetary bail despite being apprehended with 450,000 doses of fentanyl – enough to kill more than a third of Pennsylvania’s population,” Robinson stated. “It’s unacceptable for dangerous criminals to wander freely in our communities. This legislation will ensure these most dangerous individuals won’t be released back into our communities.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reported that fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and approximately 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl – the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill an average person. According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, an average of 14 Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose.

“This legislation sends a clear message – those who traffic massive amounts of deadly substances like fentanyl into our state or perpetrate violent crimes will face the full weight of the law,” Robinson said. “I am grateful to work with my colleagues, Sens. Wayne Langerholc and Tracy Pennycuick, to get this bill one step closer to the governor’s desk.”

Robinson encourages those struggling with substance abuse to contact Pennsylvania’s Get Help Now hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

The bill is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

View Robinson’s remarks on the bill here.

Kevin Battle

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