Harm reduction programs; public health emergency, etc. (HB2317)

Introduced By

Del. John O'Bannon (R-Richmond)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Comprehensive harm reduction program; public health emergency. Authorizes the Commissioner of Health (Commissioner) to establish and operate local or regional comprehensive harm reduction programs during a declared public health emergency that include the provision of sterile and disposal of used hypodermic needles and syringes. The objectives of the programs are to reduce the spread of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases in Virginia, to reduce the transmission of blood-borne diseases through needlestick injuries to law-enforcement and other emergency personnel, and to provide information to individuals who inject drugs regarding addiction recovery treatment services. The programs will be located in at-risk communities, in accordance with criteria established by the Department of Health. The bill requires the Commissioner to establish standards and protocols for the comprehensive harm reduction programs and requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Public Safety to approve such standards and protocols. The bill also provides that the Commissioner may authorize persons who are not otherwise authorized by law to dispense or distribute hypodermic needles and syringes to dispense or distribute hypodermic needles and syringes as part of a comprehensive harm reduction program during a declared public health emergency. Such persons would not be subject to certain prohibitions against dispensing or distributing hypodermic needles and syringes, provided that they are acting in accordance with the standards and protocols of the comprehensive harm reduction program. The bill requires the Department of Health to submit, to the Governor and to the General Assembly, a progress report concerning any such program established by October 1, 2018, and a report evaluating the effectiveness of any such program established by October 1, 2019. The provisions of the bill would sunset on July 1, 2020. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/12/2017Committee
01/12/2017Presented and ordered printed 17101954D
01/12/2017Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/18/2017Impact statement from VDH (HB2317)
01/19/2017Reported from Health, Welfare and Institutions (20-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
01/19/2017Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/19/2017Assigned App. sub: Health & Human Resources
01/24/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
01/30/2017Reported from Appropriations (21-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2017Read first time
02/02/2017Read second time
02/02/2017Amendments by Delegate O'Bannon agreed to
02/02/2017Engrossed by House as amended HB2317E
02/02/2017Printed as engrossed 17101954D-E
02/03/2017Impact statement from VDH (HB2317E)
02/03/2017Read third time and passed House (59-Y 36-N)
02/03/2017VOTE: PASSAGE (59-Y 36-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2017Constitutional reading dispensed
02/06/2017Referred to Committee on Education and Health
02/09/2017Reported from Education and Health (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2017Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2017Read third time
02/13/2017Passed Senate (36-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2017Enrolled
02/15/2017Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB2317ER)
02/15/2017Impact statement from VDH (HB2317ER)
02/15/2017Signed by Speaker
02/17/2017Signed by President
02/17/2017Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/17/17
02/17/2017G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, February 24, 2017
02/23/2017G Approved by Governor-Chapter 183 (effective 7/1/17)
02/23/2017G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0183)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 6 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

TERRIBLE ACTS COMMITTED AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT LAST SUMMER AND I'M NOT EXCUSING THAT BUT I'M SAYING THE STATUTE IS A LOT MORE OPEN THAN THAT SPECIFIC THANK YOU. SITUATION. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM. MR. PRESIDENT, SPEAKING TO THE BILL VERY BRIEFLY. I WOULD POINT OUT TO THE MEMBERS, THOUGH, THAT THIS BILL IS MUCH MORE NARROW AND IT WAS EARLIER. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE SOLICITATION AND IT ACTUALLY REQUIRESLE PERSON PROSECUTED TO HAVE DIRECTED OR INCITED OTHER PERSONS WHO ACTUALLY, WHO ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE IN RIOT TO ACTS OF FORCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST THE NAMED PERSONNEL. IT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR SIMPLY TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING. IT HAS TO ACTUALLY -- THERE ACTUAL LU HAS TO HE BE SOME ACT THAT REQUIRES --

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE QUESTION IS SHALL HOUSE BILL 1791 PASS. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILLS AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE ALL THE SENATORS READY TO V? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO C HANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

[Unknown]: AYES 22, NOS 18. AYES 22, NOS 18. THE BILL PASSES.

Comments

Theresa Reardon, MSW, QMHP writes:

Hello,
Enclosed please find the corrospondance between myself and Governor McAuliffe concerning the crisis we are under, between the closings of Pain Management clinics and clients reaching out to fentanyl laced heroin along with the rise in HIV/Hep C. What I wish to do is illegal, yes, but evidence shows that in other states nearby (NC, MD, NY, etc.) have shown a reduction in the rates of HIV/Hep C transmission, along with illegal drugs use. Please read my correspondence, as well as the reply, as evidence of my help in your making the opening of SEP’s very necessary in the state of Virginia. As noted, I am prepared to being immediately, if given the opportunity.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter,
Theresa Reardon, MSW, QMHP, SAC
Harm Reduction Safety Program (5013(c)3)
(804) 615-0546

—————————
From: Office of the Governor
Date: Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 5:02 PM
To: Theresa Reardon
Subject: RE: Can I open a syringe exchange/harm reduction program now? CRM:0014775

This is in reply to your email to Governor McAuliffe regarding the opioid crisis in Virginia and the possibility of operating a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) in Virginia.

Following receipt of your communication, I asked the Interim Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Service (DBHDS) to have staff address your concerns. As you know, under current Virginia law (Sections 54.1-3466 and 54.1-3467) SEPs are not permitted to operate in the Commonwealth. Neither the Governor nor I can overturn the existing laws. It would require an act of the state legislators. You may want to contact your local representatives to determine their interest in sponsoring such a bill.

I was pleased to see your interest in Narcon as a viable intervention for those experiencing opioid overdoses. DBHDS offers lay rescuer instruction for Narcon and trainers’ instruction through REVIVE! I would urge you to consider taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in the training. For additional information, please go to Revive@dbhds.virginia.gov.

Thank you for contacting the Governor and for sharing your concerns. I applaud your efforts and commitment and wish you all the best.

William A. Hazel, Jr., MD
Secretary of Health and Human Resources
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
------------------- Original Message -------------------
From: Theresa Reardon
Received: 12/27/2016 7:54 PM
To: yy EadPortalGovCr
Subject: Can I open a syringe exchange/harm reduction program now?

December 27 2016 Dear Governor McAuliffe, I have been watching how your stance on the opiate overdose problem that has plagued the Richmond and surrounding counties has changed in viewing it as a disease, rather than a moral issue, with much interest. I would like to propose a solution that has worked well in other states. Opiate related emergency room admissions and deaths are no longer a problem in Virginia; they have reached the crisis stage. With the closing of several pain management clinics in recent years, many former patients have had to resort to poor quality street heroin containing fentanyl, which has instantly killed many young and older victims who were too sick to know better or care. This topic for the last eight years of my education has been the subject of almost all of my research work. I can also tell you that my son has lost 12 friends to opiate overdoses since the summer and I have lost 15 friends or associates in the same time. While this may be viewed by some as a form of enabling the intravenous drug user, I see SEP’s as an opportunity to not only prevent the widespread rise in HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, it will also be an opportunity to train and supply opiate users in the use of Naloxone (Narcan), of which I have been, and am able to train, in it’s administering by The Chicago Recovery Alliance, as well as several Harm Reduction programs in NYC, Long Island, and Washington, D. C.. Most importantly, I wish this to be a place where addicts can be educated in local and affordable centers for treatment when they decide they’ve had enough and wish to make a change. I have been granted the start-up costs for the items needed to supply by the North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN) and have registered my program as a 501c3 Non-Profit named Harm Reduction Safety Program. What I request is the ability to operate, legally, under crisis conditions, as well as funding for the free location(s) that those in need could come to exchange their used needles for clean ones, the ability to dispose of used needles safely, along with other supplies that could spread HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C to others (metal cookers, tourniquets, etc.) as well as Narcan. After eight years of college, I am currently a substance abuse counselor (Reynolds), and hold a Bachelor and Masters degrees in Social Work (VCU). I have worked to receive these degrees in order to, one day, implement a Syringe Exchange Program (SEP’s) in the Richmond (and surrounding) counties. I have also taught relapse prevention in Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County. Respectively, Theresa Reardon, MSW, QMHP, SAC Harm Reduction Safety Program (501c3) (804) 615-0546