Illinois could soon see new laws aimed at addressing the heroin problem in many parts of the state. Two special panels are in the process of gathering feedback on possible solutions.
This week, a newly-created House task force on heroin met for the first time, and is planning formal hearings for the spring. Their work will include recommendations from a separate task force that's been hearing about heroin use among young adults.
Rockford-area Republican John Cabello is involved with both efforts. Cabello, who has been a police officer for more than 20 years, says while much attention has been paid to certain demographics affected by the problem, they know it goes beyond that.
“It doesn’t attack one race. It doesn’t attack one gender. It doesn’t attack one age group,” Cabello said.
Cabello has introduced his own bill that calls for stiffer penalties for those who supply the drug. But he says they know they can't arrest their way out of the problem. He says more money needs to be set aside for education and treatment efforts.