Illinois State Police

The state’s heroin crisis has captured headlines and the attention of lawmakers. But in the past few years, the number of methamphetamine lab busts has crept back up, and law enforcement officials say the drug is also coming into the state from Mexico. 

As the fight over Illinois’ budget drags on, an addiction treatment program for juveniles and an anti-violence program, which both saw their state funding cut off earlier this year, still wait for a lifeline.

Illinois has increased the penalties for some drug offenses.  

Gov. Pat Quinn signed three drug-related pieces of legislation Saturday. They take effect Jan. 1.  

Manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. It was previously considered a Class 1 felony.  

A year ago, Illinois officials had reason to be confident. As lethal and easily concocted methamphetamine overwhelmed rural communities and spread to larger cities, state lawmakers moved to restrict access to some over-the-counter cold medicines containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in the homemade drug widely known as crystal meth.

Illinois, it seemed, was ahead of the game through smart politics and smart law enforcement.