WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Legislation encouraging people in Delaware to report alcohol and drug overdoses without fear of being prosecuted is about to become law.
The so-called Good Samaritan bill was to be signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jack Markell after winning unanimous approval in both the House and Senate.
Under the bill, a person reporting an overdose would be immune from prosecution for certain drug crimes even if he or she has been involved in drug-related activity.
The bill also grants immunity from prosecution for offenses related to underage drinking.
Lawmakers approved the bill only after exempting higher level drug felonies from its immunity protections, a change that critics said seriously weakens the bill and will discourage reporting.
Governor Jack Markell signed a budget into law early yesterday morning that is aimed at job creation and education reform as well improvements in public safety.
The spending plans signed by the Governor included a $3.7 billion operating budget, $477 million for capital projects and just under $45 million for non-profits in Delaware.
The Delaware Democrat introduced a package of five gun control measures, as well as legislation that makes four temporary 2009 tax hikes permanent.
He also signed legislation that legalized same sex marriage and another that protects transgender people.
State House Minority leader Danny Short noted that this year’s legislative session had been one of the most contentious with a sharp divide over social issues.