Senate Passes Legislation Addressing Opioid Crisis

From:  News Release   2/9/18   GCN

JACKSON – The state Senate today passed legislation to address the opioid crisis that impacts many Mississippians, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. Both bills head to the House for consideration.

“We’ve got to find ways to help law enforcement, the health care community, and, most importantly, Mississippi families fight the opioid crisis,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “As we move through the session, these bills will allow legislators to consider issues of addiction, medical and local government burdens and find possible solutions.”

The Department of Public Safety has said opioid deaths are reaching a record high. According to the American Enterprise Institute, the opioid crisis costs Mississippians $746 per capita in costs associated with health care, criminal justice, productivity and loss of life.

The bills passed today were:

· Senate Bill 2759, which establishes the Mississippi Opioid Crisis Commission and would include the state health officer, members of state regulatory health care boards, and legislators to work on regulatory or legislative solutions. The bill is sponsored by Public Health and Welfare Chairman Dean Kirby, R-Pearl.

 

· Senate Bill 2840, the Opioid Crisis Intervention Act, which includes several tools to help local communities address the problem. Features of the bill include: individuals who report a victim of overdose would not be subject to arrest for doing so, and cities could establish a pre-arrest diversion program to enable individuals to receive treatment. The bill is sponsored by Energy Chairwoman Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven.