RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A proposed bill that could’ve made way for drug dealers to be charged with felony homicide if a user dies of an overdose in Virginia is no more.
Senator Ryan McDougle’s (R-Hanover) bill died in a Virginia Senate committee. McDougle’s legislation would’ve meant that drug dealers could face a second-degree murder charge if a drug user overdoses and dies.
Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield health districts all issued spike alerts for an increase in opioid overdoses at the end of last year.
Currently, McDougle said drug dealers in Virginia are able to avoid a felony homicide charge if they give out drugs linked to a fatal overdose, as long as they’re not there when it happens. He said his proposal, now rejected, would have made sure those dealers would face charges.
Even though this bill died, another Virginia republican has a similar bill that has advanced to committee. If this legislation makes it to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk, the governor has vowed to sign it into law.