Governor Raimondo to sign Kristen’s Law

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Kristen’s Law, which would potentially lock up death dealing drug pushers has made it to the governor’s desk. Both sides on this issue have been outspoken but ultimately it’s Governor Raimondo who will make the final call and she’s hoping to take a big step forward against the opioid epidemic when Kristen’s Law hits her desk.

"I’ve heard from too many parents coming to me and begging me to sign the bill because their kids have died and its something that I’m going to sign," says Governor Raimondo.

The general assembly passed the bill Thursday night. It would give judges the option to hand down a life sentence to the person who provides a deadly overdose.

"The bill is specifically focused on drug dealers. It’s not about friends sharing drugs," she says.

The medical and recovery community has repeatedly spoken out against this bill as it moved through the legislature. A member of the governor’s overdose task force, Dr. Jody Rich, telling ABC 6 News recently, "we’re spending too much of our effort and energy and discussion and money on trying to incarcerate our way out of this epidemic and that will not work."

The governor said she’s considered both sides and that it was a tough choice,  but this is a crisis and ultimately law enforcement needs to play a role. Still, prevention and treatment are the top priorities for getting addicts the help they need.

"This is about commercial drug dealers who are getting rich selling drugs that kill Rhode Islanders," says Raimondo.

She adds that if in a few years this law isn’t working, they’ll revisit it.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018