CFO Jimmy Patronis today was joined by Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Representative Heather Fitzenhagen, Representative Dane Eagle, Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass, Ft. Myers Fire Department Chief John Caufield and members of Ft. Myers’ fire service and law enforcement communities to highlight the signing of Senate Bill (SB) 376, expanding mental health benefits for first responders. Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill last week in Tampa surrounded by hundreds of first responders from across the state. SB 376 was sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book and Rep. Matt Willhite.
CFO Jimmy Patronis was joined today by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Sen. Audrey Gibson, Rep. Cord Byrd, Rep. Tracie Davis, Rep. Jason Fischer, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Kurt Wilson and members of the fire service and law enforcement communities to highlight the signing of Senate Bill 376, expanding mental health benefits for first responders. Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill this week in Tampa surrounded by hundreds of first responders from across the state. SB 376 was sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book and Rep. Matt Willhite.
Governor Rick Scott today hosted a bill signing at the Boca Raton Police Department for HB 21, which was proposed by Governor Scott to combat opioid abuse. This bill will help limit the chance of drug addiction, reduce the ability for dangerous drugs to spread in Florida’s communities and give vulnerable Floridians the support they need. The Governor also highlighted the more than $65 million in the Securing Florida’s Future budget to help combat the national opioid epidemic in Florida.
The more than $65 million to support Florida’s fight against opioids in the Securing Florida’s Future budget includes:
- $14.6 million for enhancements to the substance abuse system of care. This funding will provide additional residential treatment beds, outpatient treatment and case management, emergency room treatment and follow up, peer recovery support services and targeted outreach for pregnant women with substance abuse disorders;
- $5 million for Naloxone for first responders;
- $27 million in federal funding from the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant;
- $1.2 million to enhance the Prescription Drug Monitoring System;
- $16.5 million for Department of Children and Families, State Courts and Department of Corrections for Medication Assisted Treatment related to opioid addiction; and
- More than $885,000 for handheld narcotic analyzers for the Florida Highway Patrol to keep officers in the field safe.
HB 21 continues Florida’s fight against opioids by:
- Placing a three-day limit on prescribed opioids for acute pain, unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply;
- Requiring healthcare prescribers or dispensers of opioids to consult the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database that monitors controlled substance prescriptions, to review a patient’s medication history prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance;
- Requiring continuing education courses for healthcare practitioners on responsibly prescribing opioids;
- Increasing penalties for healthcare practitioners that provide medically unnecessary controlled substance to a patient by fraud, misrepresentation, or other deception; and
- Implementing additional reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics.