Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ohio may crack down on prostitution to fight opioid crisis

Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

A bill proposed would increase the penalty from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor. Those convicted could face up to 180 days in jail. Currently the penalty is up to 60 days.

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The bill was introduced by Rep. Adam Miller, D-Columbus, and Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington.

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.

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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.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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