Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SB188 set on House Calendar for tomorrow

SB188, the bill that allows local options to set up publicly or privately-funded disease prevention programs including syringe exchange, has been set on the House Calendar for tomorrow, Thursday, May 21. If the House is unable to reach the bill tomorrow, they are likely to reach the bill on Friday.

SB188 doesn't mandate or fund any program - it simply gives local urban areas another option for life-saving disease prevention. The bill will save millions of state and local tax dollars, save first responders and other innocent victims' lives, and save lives within the main affected community. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the programs do not increase drug use but do increase the use of drug treatment.

SB188 will:
  • allow local entities to authorize a privately-funded or local tax-funded program in their area,
  • offer education and a path to treatment and recovery to every client of the program,
  • require programs to exchange a dirty syringe for every safe and clean one they provide,
  • require monitoring and reporting of each program so we know they are effective, and
  • only apply to counties with over 300,000 residents.
Please be sure that your friends who are interested in this legislation are aware that the Texas House may debate the issue tomorrow. You can always find more information on this blog and this website. Thank you and stay tuned!

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