The people's voice of reason

Senate Committee gives favorable report to legislation to educate children about the dangers of fentanyl

On Wednesday the Senate Finance and Taxation education committee voted to give a favorable report to a bill to require K-12 public schools to include research-based prevention education about the dangers of fentanyl and drug poisoning.

The Price Hornsby Act was named after Lee County native 17-year-old Price Hornsby – one of the 110,000 Americans killed by a drug overdose.

U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) said recently in a Senate hearing that fentanyl is now the number one cause of death for Americans between the age of 18 and 45.

The legislation, House Bill 280. is sponsored by State Representative Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn).

It is being carried by Sen. Jay Hovey (R-Auburn) in the Senate.

"This bill adds fentanyl language to the exiting code that requires drug and alcohol prevention education in our schools," Hovey said.

Sen, Vivian Figures said that she wants to amend the bill to include education about the risks of vaping when it gets to the Senate floor.

Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) expressed his concerns that if the Legislature adds vaping and other instruction that it is asking too much of classroom teachers.

"When do we teach math?" Sen. Albritton said.

The committee gave the bill a favorable report.

There is also a Senate version of the bill introduced by Hovey. That second bill received a favorable report from the education policy committee on Wednesday as well.

HB280 passed the Alabama House without opposition 100 to 0.

"HB280 is a bill that affects all of our districts in Alabama," said Rep. Lovvorn. "It affects many of us personally. Under existing law, public K-12 schools' drug and alcohol prevention programs are required to provide certain information and instruction. This bill would require research-based instruction on fentanyl and drug poisoning prevention and poisoning to be provided to students in grades 6 through 12."

Hornsby lost his life due to fentanyl poisoning.

"This bill when you are dealing with something that affects so many lives you have to personalize it, for people to realize the importance and significance; and we have named this the Price Hornsby Act," Lovvorn said. "Just a little note from Price. He passed away in March of 2021. He was a student at Auburn high school that graduated early and was waiting to take the steps to possibly join serving in our military through the Space Academy. His life was taken short and too quick. His parents certainly wanted to make sure that his name lives on and moves forward and had a legacy that might prevent this from happening for other families that might have this tragedy and we are honored to have in our gallery Ray and Leigh Hornsby and their many gathered family and friends."

The whole House of Representatives applauded the Hornsbys and their friends in the House gallery.

"We want you to know that we are with you, we are listening, and we are working to try to prevent this from happening for other families," Lovvorn said. "And thank you for the legacy that Price's legacy will live on."

95 members of the House cosponsored the bill.

"The loss of Price Hornsby has been a devastating blow to our community, and it underscores the urgent need for comprehensive drug education and prevention strategies," said Rep. Lovvorn in a statement. "By introducing the Price Hornsby Act, we aim to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future and ensure that our children are educated about the lethal risks associated with fentanyl."

Former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R-Montgomery) is a board member of the Tucker Project, whose mission is to raise awareness of fentanyl and the growing number of drug overdose deaths in this country.

"As the bill now moves to the Alabama Senate, it is imperative that our state senators heed the call to action and follow in the footsteps of their House colleagues by passing this crucial piece of legislation," said Hooper. "The urgency of the fentanyl crisis demands no less. The time to act is now. By ensuring the passage of the Price Hornsby Act, we can offer a beacon of hope and a layer of protection to our youth. Let us honor the memory of Price Hornsby and the countless others lost to drug overdoses by committing ourselves to educate and safeguard our future generations."

"I commend the Alabama House for their decisive action in passing the Price Hornsby Act," Hooper added. "This bill represents a crucial step forward in our collective effort to educate our youth about the grave dangers of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. By equipping our students with this vital knowledge, we are laying the groundwork for a safer and healthier future for all of Alabama."

HB280 could be considered by the full Senate as soon as Tuesday.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email


Reader Comments(0)