051914 js 0190SPRINGFIELD – Meth cooks who set up labs close to schools could face higher penalties under a plan approved by the Illinois State Senate on Tuesday.

Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored the legislation in the Senate that expands aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing to people who cook the dangerous drug within 1,000 feet of school property. Representative Dan Beiser (D-Alton) introduced the plan in the House.

“Exposing young people to this terrible drug or to the dangers associated with meth making is a crime that needs greater penalties,” Haine said.

“I appreciate the South Roxana Police Department bringing to my attention a way the existing law can be strengthened to protect our communities,” Beiser said.

The offense – aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing – already applies to people who manufacture meth in the presence of minors, seniors or pregnant women. It also applies to cases where the meth lab explodes, it injures others, it takes place in an apartment building or the person making the meth takes steps to fortify or booby trap the production site.

Depending on the amount of meth being manufactured, penalties could range from 6-60 years in prison or a fine based on the street value of the drugs.

The plan, House Bill 4093, passed the Senate by a 57-0 vote. It passed the House in April and now moves to the governor for approval.

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