AUSTIN — Legislation co-authored by State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) to create harsher penalties for fentanyl traffickers and dealers was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday. The legislation, House Bill 6 filed by State Representative Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth), was a major legislative priority for House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and the governor.
“Fighting back in this fentanyl crisis is crucial,” Landgraf said. “This is a battle and the casualties are tragic and close to home. I am very proud of House Bill 6 because it will save lives and put dangerous criminals behind bars.”
House Bill 6 delivers swift punishment for fentanyl-related crimes in Texas, creating and increasing penalties for manufacturing or delivering fentanyl in Texas. This, along with other bills to better fund law enforcement, helps communities and agencies combat the ongoing crisis in an appropriate manner.
“House Bill 6, along with several other bills signed into law and the $5.1 billion we secured in the budget for border security, will better fund and arm our agencies, towns, and Texans in defending and securing our southern border,” Landgraf continued. “It’s infuriating that the Biden administration continues to ignore the problem, but Texans—including young West Texans—are dying, so we are taking action on the state level. I’m proud to be part of the fight to keep Texans safe and secure the border.”
Fentanyl-related deaths reported in Texas increased 89% from 2020 to 2021. Since Operation Lone Star began in March 2021, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized more than 361 million lethal doses of fentanyl across the state, enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the country. In 2021, Landgraf was part of the successful effort to increase state funding for border security to $3 billion for 2022-2023. In 2023, he successfully fought to increase that funding to $5.1 billion for 2024-2025.
The 88th Texas Legislative Session ended on May 29, 2023. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate are constitutionally required to meet for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget. In addition to serving as chairman of the House Environmental Regulation Committee, Landgraf is also a member of the Transportation Committee, House Administration Committee, Redistricting Committee, Select Committee on Community Safety, and the Select Committee on Youth Health and Safety.