Augusta – On the heels of a Kennebec County drug bust today that netted the arrests of five people from New York City on charges of drug trafficking, Senator Scott Cyrway (R-Kennebec) is advocating for Democrat members of the Legislative Council to join their Republican counterparts in supporting his bill to combat out-of-state drug traffickers.

“An Act to Increase Sentences Imposed for Interstate Trafficking of Illegal Drugs,” sponsored by Sen. Cyrway, was rejected on a party line vote by the Legislative Council at its initial meeting to consider which bills can move forward for the Legislature’s 2016 session.

“Maine’s drug crisis is certainly an emergency,” said Senator Cyrway (R-Kennebec). “Today’s arrests are only one more of far too many examples of the prevalence of out-of-state traffickers and their tragic influence on our state. Increasing sentencing for these criminals will send a harsh message that they are not welcome to bring their poison to Maine.”

All five Republican leaders voted in favor of moving the bill forward, but all five Democrat leaders voted against it, resulting in its failure. Senator Cyrway has appealed the decision. The Council meets to consider appeals on November 19th.