‘Millie’s Law’ looks to increase penalties in fentanyl cases in Louisiana

‘Millie’s Law’ looks to increase penalties in fentanyl cases in Louisiana.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) - A Central Louisiana mother whose daughter died from a fentanyl overdose is the inspiration behind a bill that is currently in the legislature looking to enhance the criminal penalties related to fentanyl.

Senate Bill 315 (SB 315), authored by Sen. Glen Womack (R-District 32), would increase the penalties for those who distribute drugs laced with fentanyl. Under the current law, a convicted person receives a prison sentence of five to 40 years and a fine of no more than $50,000. The proposed version of the bill, including amendments by Sen. Mack White, Jr., would change the minimum sentence for a person who knowingly distributes the drug to a prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 45 years. It would also increase the fine to no more than $100,000.

The bill is being dubbed “Millie’s Law.” In February 2017, Lilly Harvey’s daughter, Lillie Camille “Millie” Harvey, overdosed in City Park in Alexandria. Millie’s dealer is currently serving 20 years for negligent homicide and fentanyl distribution charges, among others. Last year, Harvey approached Sen. Womack about her daughter’s story, and he authored the bill to address the problem.

On Tuesday, Harvey joined Sen. Womack for its presentation to the Judiciary Committee.

“Daily, I have families that text me and call me wanting justice for this,” said Harvey. “I know sometimes it’s a gray area, but my daughter was able to get justice for what happened to her. She was given something that she had no knowledge of and it took her life. One choice, one choice can take a life. That’s why it is so important today that we get a bill like this implemented because me coming from all sides knows that it has got to get to a consequence. Because if you are going to play, then you need to pay. If we do not have something that makes people think twice before they give this poison to other people, then we are going to continue to see a rise.”

Harvey, who was once an addict herself and has been clean for six years, called the bill “personal.”

“This bill is personal, but I am not here today to represent my daughter, but to represent the thousands of families who seek justice for this,” said Harvey. “It has got to stop.”

SB 315 is getting support from those in law enforcement, as well. Michael Ranatza, the executive director of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, was there in support. Loren Lampert, the former chief of the Alexandria Police Department who now serves as the executive director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, was there in support too.

Harvey’s advocacy does not stop with the legislature. She also runs a non-profit known as “Millie Mattered” and hosts Louisiana Drug Epidemic Awareness Walks around the state.

SB 315 is pending Senate final passage. From there, it will head to the House for consideration.

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