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Rep.Bell, Keith

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Bell Files Bill Expanding Criminal Liability to those Exposing Children to Penalty Group 1 Drugs  print page

by: Rep. Bell, Keith
02/25/2019

(Austin, Tx) – State Representative Keith Bell filed House Bill 1261 to address a gap in the Texas Penal Code and provide an enhanced criminal penalty for persons exposing children to dangerous drugs such as crack cocaine. Representative Bell offered the following statement:

"We must address the gap in the Texas Penal Code that allows persons exposing their children to Penalty Group 1 Drugs to escape a presumption that they have placed their children in danger of death, bodily injury or mental/physical impairment. As written, there is a presumption for persons using methamphetamine, but no similar presumption for persons using crack cocaine. This is unacceptable and it prevents the prosecution of persons who are harming children through exposure to dangerous drugs." As a grandfather to 4 young grandchildren, Representative Bell's top priority is advocating for those who can't advocate for themselves, including born and unborn children.

"The fact that under the law as it is currently written, a child being exposed to methamphetamine and a child being exposed to crack cocaine are viewed as separate offenses, just doesn’t make practical sense. People exposing children to drugs need to be prosecuted to the fullest-extent of the law. There is no reason the law should treat people exposing children to methamphetamine and crack cocaine differently, when the damage done to a child is the same." stated Representative Bell.

Representative Bell has gained the support of local Judges and prosecutors alike, and has received an enthusiastic response as he pitches this bill to various child advocacy groups.

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