Evers signs anti-opioid legislation in La Crosse

March 16, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers signed three bills designed to curb opioid use during a trip to La Crosse on Wednesday.

The first bill creates three tiers of felonies for manufacturing, dealing and possessing fentanyl based on the amount and increases the maximum prison sentence for the crimes by five years if the crimes occur in a public housing project or within 1,000 feet of a park, swimming pool, youth center, a correctional facility, a school or a school bus.

The second bill decriminalizes the use fentanyl testing strips used to confirm a substance as fentanyl. Such strips are classified as drug paraphernalia under current state law.

The third bill calls for the creation of a state database tracking methamphetamine and opioid use. The bill appropriates $1.5 million to the state Department of Administration for the project. The Legislature’s Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee would have to sign off on the spending before DOA could give the job to a vendor.

Evers signed the legislation at La Crosse Lighthouse Inc., an addiction rehabilitation facility.