Senator Saland’s Legislation To Increase Penalties For The Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance On A School Bus Passes The Senate

Stephen M. Saland

March 27, 2009

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that his legislation (S. 312) to increase penalties for the criminal sale of a controlled substance on school buses has passed the Senate.

Presently, because "school bus" is not included in the definition of "school grounds" for the purpose of controlled substance offenses, those found guilty of selling on buses are not penalized as severely. This bill would make the sale of a controlled substance on a school bus a Class B Felony.

The existing definition of "school grounds" includes the area in or on or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public or private school and those areas accessible to the public located within one thousand feet of the real property boundary line of a school.

"I am very pleased that the Senate has passed my legislation to better protect students from the sale of drugs on school buses," said Senator Saland. "Parents should be able to expect that the measure of safety available at schools will also apply to school buses."

"This bill was recommended to me by the late John Funk, former Supervisor of Stockport," said Senator Saland. "I am hopeful that this will be the year in which the Assembly agrees to take up the bill and that it will be enacted into law"