LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky bill that would make hazing a crime is one step closer to becoming law.

The House passed Senate Bill 9, called "Lofton's Law," on Wednesday.

The legislation is named after Lofton Hazelwood, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2021 while pledging at the Farmhouse Fraternity at the University of Kentucky. Students told investigators Lofton had 18 shots of bourbon within 45 minutes.

Lofton's Law increases the penalty for hazing that results in injury or death to a felony.

"We believe the elevation of hazing as a crime addresses head-on the seriousness of these actions," Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, said. "It lets students know that Kentucky values student safety and violations of their safety will be addressed."

The bill needs final approval in the Senate before it heads to Gov. Andy Beshear's desk for his signature to become law.

Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.