Bill imposing tougher penalties for meth dealing advances

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota House panel has advanced a bill that would impose harsher penalties for methamphetamine dealing and manufacturing.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 12-1 Wednesday to pass the bill to the chamber's floor.

Attorney General Marty Jackley's bill would make distribution and manufacturing a more serious felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, up from 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000.

The bill would also make changes so mandatory minimum sentences for drug distribution and manufacturing are more broadly applied, among other provisions.

Jackley says the panel has taken an "important step" to keep drug dealers out of South Dakota.

The panel also voted 11-2 to approve a bill that would enact stronger penalties for drug dealers whose product kills another person.