The General Assembly has completed work on SB 198 , legislation toughening the penalties for anyone convicted of distributing a controlled substance near public or private park. It will be a Class A felony to unlawfully distribute or deliver drugs such as heroine, cocaine, LSD methamphetamine in or within 1,000 feet of these parks.

Final Senate debate involved two Kansas City Democrats – one expressing concern about those selling drugs, and the other concerned about children being sold the drugs.

Senator Jolie Justus worries about the effects of penalizing drug dealers. Senator Yvonne Wilson points to reduced drug activity in and around schools as proof that these drug free zones work. Wilson adds she cares more about kids whose lives are affected by drugs than she cares about those who are hurting the kids by selling them drugs.

Both agree on the need to have programs in place to help inmates become productive members of society when they get out of prison.

Download/Listen: Senator Yvonne Wilson and Senator Jolie Justus (:35 MP3)