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Sen. Russ Goodman Celebrates Final Passage of “Austin’s Law”

Senate Press


Today, the Georgia State Senate agreed to the House Substitute to Senate Bill 465, sponsored by Sen. Russ Goodman (R–Cogdell).

Senate Bill 465, known as “Austin’s Law,” is named after a Georgian who unwittingly ingested a pill laced with fentanyl and subsequently lost his life. This measure establishes a new category of offense, felony aggravated involuntary manslaughter, under which drug dealers and distributors can now be prosecuted. Following consideration by the Georgia House of Representatives, the bill will now also provide for the offense of unlawfully possessing a pill press, tableting machine, encapsulating machine or other controlled substance counterfeiting materials.

“Today, the Georgia General Assembly made a tremendous step in combatting the fentanyl crisis in our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones. “I am proud that the Senate and the House recognize the seriousness of this crisis, and I am hopeful that the passage of ‘Austin’s Law’ will help to prevent the senseless deaths of Georgians. With the passage of this bill, those who traffic illicit substances like fentanyl will be held accountable for their deadly actions.”

“I am beyond pleased that the SB 465 is now headed to our Governor’s desk for signage into law. This legislation is of utmost importance to me and many others as it will protect people like Austin from those who would harm our communities and kill our loved ones. This measure is a true testament to the Georgia General Assembly’s commitment to protecting the lives of Georgians,” said Sen. Goodman.

Sen. Goodman furthered his statement by saying “I would like to extend my thanks to our Lieutenant Governor. Burt Jones who made this issue a priority. Lt. Gov. Jones has been a vocal advocate for increased legislation regarding the war against fentanyl trafficking. Furthermore, I would like to thank Austin’s parents, Gus and Beth Walters, who brought this important issue to my attention and made several trips up from Valdosta to the Capitol to continue to advocate for their son Austin.”

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