COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan bill intended to help curb the state's opioid epidemic by increasing penalties for soliciting prostitutes has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Democratic Rep. Adam Miller and Republican Rep. Jim Hughes introduced the bill that would increase the penalty for solicitation from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor. Potential jail time would increase from 60 to 180 days.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Democrat Sen. Enda Brown and Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze plan to sponsor a sister bill that would increase the potential fine for so-called "johns" from $500 to $2,500.
Brown says drug abuse leaves people vulnerable and susceptible to fueling their addiction any way they can. She says that's resulted in a rise in prostitution among women suffering from addiction.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com