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  • Bush statement on override of Heroin Crisis Act veto

    bush narcan cmteGRAYSLAKE — State Sen. Melinda Bush issued the following statement as members of the Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of House Bill 1, the Heroin Crisis Act, on Wednesday.

    “Citizens have demanded we address this public health crisis,” Bush said. “This comprehensive plan to reduce addiction and death must not be delayed further. I will cast my ‘Yes’ vote to override this veto and make this the law of the land, and I urge all my colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”

    Among other provisions in the proposal is a section referred to as “Lali’s Law,” which would expand access to heroin overdose antidotes at local pharmacies. The law is so named for Alex “Lali” Laliberte, whose sister Chelsea formed the anti-heroin organization Live4Lali after her brother’s death by heroin overdose in 2008.

    Live4Lali has been promoting the wider distribution and awareness of Narcan, an antidote that immediately halts the lethal chemical effects of a narcotics overdose with no adverse side effects and can be used safely with minimal training. Law enforcement officers in Lake County carry the small kits and have already reported several deaths averted by their use over the past year.

    The legislation is House Bill 1. It proceeds to the Senate, where it requires a three-fifths supermajority vote to override the governor’s veto.

  • Holmes statement on override of Heroin Crisis Act veto

    holmes womenhlthcareAURORA — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement as members of the Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of House Bill 1, the Heroin Crisis Act, on Wednesday.

    “Law enforcement, medical professionals and the public have demanded action on this urgent issue,” Holmes said. “Governor Rauner delayed this plan, even as we know people are dying daily. I will vote to override this veto and urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me.”

    The Heroin Crisis Act would create addiction treatment programs, public awareness and education campaigns and expand local pharmacy access to fast-acting heroin antidotes.

    The legislation is House Bill 1. It proceeds to the Senate, where it requires a three-fifths supermajority vote to override the governor’s veto.

  • Kotowski reacts to override of governor’s veto of heroin treatment law

    kotow hb1 heroinSPRINGFIELD- Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 105-5 to override the governor’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1, a proposal that takes a multi-faceted approach to curbing the growing heroin epidemic. State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), the sponsor of the measure in the Senate, released the follow statement following the House’s vote.

    “I applaud Representative Lou Lang for his continued leadership and the Illinois House for coming together in a bipartisan fashion that will save lives and taxpayer dollars.  Investing in heroin addiction prevention gives people struggling with substance abuse the opportunity to survive and become productive members of our society.

    “We owe it to the victims, families and youth of our communities to enact these protections as soon as possible, and I look forward to voting on this proposal in the Senate next week.”

  • Kotowski reacts to Rauner rejection of heroin treatment legislation

    heroinSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) issued the statement below in response to Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1. The legislation, passed earlier in the year by Kotowski, creates a multi-faceted approach to stopping heroin and opioid abuse by:

    • Requiring doctors and pharmacies to document when narcotics have been prescribed
    • Requiring the State Board of Education to create a heroin and opioid drug prevention program for schools
    • Creating a statewide medication take-back program
    • Allowing a pharmacist to dispense lifesaving Narcan to prevent heroin overdoses

    The governor's amendatory veto removes funding for treatment programs targeting low-income individuals.

    "Investing in programs to help individuals struggling with drug addiction – regardless of socio-economic status – gives those people an opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and remain productive members of society. Failing to fund these programs now will cost taxpayers substantially more in the long run.

    "Signing this landmark legislation, which passed both the House and Senate with large bipartisan majorities, would have saved lives and had an immediate impact in the fight to curb the exploding heroin epidemic taking over our communities and schools.

    "While I am encouraged that Governor Rauner acknowledges the growing heroin and opioid problem in our state, we owe it to the victims, families and youth of our communities to take action now."

  • Senate revives life-saving program with override (UPDATED)

    heroin override

  • Tom Cullerton pushes for solution to heroin epidemic

    heroinVILLA PARK - DuPage County’s Narcan program has trained more than 2,200 police officers to administer naloxone, saving over 66 individuals from overdosing on heroin.

    As the growing heroin epidemic spreads throughout the state and nation, we are still waiting for the governor to sign State Senator Tom Cullerton’s (D-Villa Park) initiative, House Bill 1, to spread the success with battling the drug in DuPage County to communities across Illinois.

    “We have the tools to save lives,” Cullerton said. “Every day, the governor waits, we are risking the chance another young person becomes addicted to heroin or worse yet, overdoses because they cannot afford treatment.”

    House Bill 1 is a comprehensive package designed to address heroin and opioid abuse and addiction in Illinois. The legislation addresses heroin abuse on a variety of different levels. Three major points of the initiative include the following:

    The legislation, which is modeled off of DuPage County’s efforts, creates a program for state and local police officers, fire protection personnel, firefighters and school nurses, to be trained in administering Narcan.

    Narcan reverses the effects of an overdose for heroin, cocaine, Vicodin, OxyContin and Morphine. The drug can be administered either by injection or nasal spray.

    Secondly, the initiative requires Medicaid to cover costs for addiction treatments and prescriptions. Currently, the second most common reason for Illinoisans to seek treatment is heroin, yet the state has the lowest rate of state-funded treatment compared to other Midwestern states, such as Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.

    Expanding the scope of Medicaid to include some of these expenses will make treatment more readily available and bring Illinois up to speed with neighboring states.

    Thirdly, requires the Illinois Department of Human Services and State Board of Education to develop a three-year heroin and opioid drug prevention program to address the heroin stronghold in Illinois. School districts will be given the option to adopt the program and DHS will work with the school districts to reimburse the costs.

    Cullerton asserts the legislation was worked on with legislators from both sides of the aisle because everyone recognizes drug overdoses and addiction can happen to people regardless of their age, socioeconomic background or ethnicity.

    “This measure is a great example of legislators working together in a bipartisan effort to address this problem and work to save lives,” Cullerton said.  “I hope the governor will work with us and move quickly to address this growing epidemic.”