SPECIFY PENALTY FOR MANUFACTURE OR DELIVERY OF HEROIN OR FENTANYL OR A MIXTURE OF BOTH

House Bill 5137 as introduced

Sponsor:  Rep. Julie Alexander

House Bill 5138 as introduced

Sponsor:  Rep. Joe Tate

Committee:  Judiciary

Complete to 12-2-19

SUMMARY:

House Bill 5137 would amend the Public Health Code to specifically prohibit the manufacture, creation, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver of heroin (a Schedule 1 controlled substance), fentanyl (a Schedule 2 substance), or a mixture of heroin and fentanyl and to prescribe penalties for a violation.

Currently, the Public Health Code prohibits the unlawful manufacture, creation, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver of controlled substances. Penalties for a violation involving a Schedule 1 controlled substance or a Schedule 2 controlled substance that is a narcotic, or any mixture containing that substance, are as follows:

·         1,000 grams or more of any mixture containing that substance is a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years and/or a fine of up to $1.0 million.

·         450 grams but less than 1,000 grams is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years and/or a fine of up to $500,000.

·         50 grams but less than 450 grams is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years or a fine of up to $250,000.

·         Less than 50 grams is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

The bill would restate and apply the above penalties specifically to a violation involving heroin, fentanyl, or a mixture containing both substances.

[A controlled substance is designated as Schedule 1 if it has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision. A Schedule 2 controlled substance also has high potential for abuse but has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and the abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.]

MCL 333.7401

House Bill 5138 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to place the maximum terms of imprisonment for a violation of HB 5137 involving heroin, fentanyl, or a mixture of heroin and fentanyl in the sentencing guidelines. The bill would also make a technical correction to a provision pertaining to possession of a counterfeit prescription to reflect changes made to the Public Health Code by 2001 PA 236.

MCL 777.13m

The bills are tie-barred to each other, which means that neither could take effect unless both were enacted, and each bill would take effect 90 days after being enacted.

FISCAL IMPACT:

House Bill 5137 would have an indeterminate fiscal impact on the state and on local units of government. The number of convictions that would result under provisions of the bill is not known. New felony convictions would result in increased costs related to state prisons and state probation supervision. In fiscal year 2018, the average cost of prison incarceration in a state facility was roughly $38,000 per prisoner, a figure that includes various fixed administrative and operational costs. State costs for parole and felony probation supervision averaged about $3,700 per supervised offender in the same year. Those costs are financed with state general fund/general purpose revenue. The fiscal impact on local court systems would depend on how provisions of the bill affected caseloads and related administrative costs. Increased costs could be offset, to some degree, depending on the amount of additional court-imposed fee revenue generated. The increase in penal fine revenue would increase funding for local libraries, which are the constitutionally designated recipients of those revenues.

House Bill 5138 is a companion bill to HB 5137 and amends sentencing guidelines. The bill would not have a direct fiscal impact on the state or on local units of government.

                                                                                        Legislative Analyst:   Susan Stutzky

                                                                                                Fiscal Analyst:   Robin Risko

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.