INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 2, 2016) – The Indiana House of Representatives passed State Rep. Martin Carbaugh’s (R-Fort Wayne) bill to combat Indiana’s growing meth problem.
If enacted, House Bill 1211, would allow meth manufacturers to be charged with a Level 4 or Level 6 felony when meth lab accidents cause property damage.
“According to the Indiana State Police, in the past 15 years Indiana has seen 273 adult injuries, 118 law enforcement injuries and 30 adult deaths attributable to meth labs,” Carbaugh said. “House Bill 1211 will give local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies the proper tools to enforce harsher punishments and combat the meth problem in Indiana.”
This bill would also require law enforcement agencies to report fires related to methamphetamine abuse to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Carbaugh said the reporting of these specific fires will allow the state to track the incidences and will give officials a better understanding of the meth problem in Indiana.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), co-author of the measure, said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management estimates that meth labs cost property owners in Indiana about $32 million in damages per year.
“These are taxpayer dollars that are being used to clean up meth labs when they should be devoted to areas like public safety or infrastructure,” Smaltz said. “This bill would impose harsher penalties for the criminals who manufacture meth and damage property in the process, and also show that we remain committed to combating the production of this dangerous drug.”
Carbaugh’s bill will now head to the Senate for further consideration.
State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) serves as Vice Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. Rep. Carbaugh represents a portion of Allen County.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) serves as the Chairman of the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee. He also serves on the Public Policy Committee, Roads and Transportation Committee and the Committee on Joint Rules. Rep. Smaltz represents all of DeKalb County and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.