SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by House Assistant Republican Leader Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) to increase accessibility of fentanyl testing strips passed the House of Representatives. House Bill 3203 was introduced by Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) in February and unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday during floor debate.
“Fentanyl test strips can help save lives and are low-cost and easy to use,” said Leader Stephens. “These are tremendous and lifesaving benefits and could add a crucial step for members of our community who encounter controlled substances. We have lost too many friends, neighbors, and loved ones to the poison that is illicit fentanyl. I’m proud to co-sponsor HB 3203 and be a part of this bipartisan effort to combat the rise of fentanyl in our communities.”
HB 3203 would amend the Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction Act. It would allow a pharmacist or retailer to sell fentanyl test strips over-the-counter to members of the public. It also allows county health departments to distribute these test strips at their facilities with no charge. These strips can test for the presence of fentanyl, a fentanyl analogue, or a drug adulterant within a controlled substance. The bill also ensures that the term “drug paraphernalia” does not include the equipment, products, or materials to test for the presence of fentanyl, its analogues, or drug adulterants in controlled substances.
Assistant Leader Stephens joined Leader McCombie and other legislators in a Springfield press conference discussing this legislation on March 16th.