March 21, 2023
Jasmine Budnella, email@example.com, 720-480-5262
VOCAL-NY CELEBRATES PASSAGE OF THE SAFER CONSUMPTION SERVICES ACT THROUGH ASSEMBLY HEALTH COMMITTEE, CALLS ON LEGISLATURE TO KEEP MOMENTUM
The Safer Consumption Services Act Would Authorize the Expansion and Funding of Overdose Prevention Centers Statewide
In New York City, Overdose Prevention Centers Have Saved Nearly 800 Lives from Fatal Overdoses
ALBANY, N.Y. – Today, in response to the passage of the the Safer Consumption Services Act (S399/A338) through the Assembly Health Committee, VOCAL-NY released the following statement attributable to leaders with VOCAL-NY’s Users Union:
“As overdoses continue to surge, we are in a watershed moment. Our state needs leadership over politics to truly turn the tide in this heartbreaking crisis. Today, the Assembly Health Committee displayed that leadership by passing the Safer Consumption Services Act, and we look forward to the final passage of this critical bill. We are deeply grateful for Assemblymember Rosenthal’s leadership, and her commitment to centering our voices and lives in this fight.
But, our elected leaders can’t stop here – this is just one step forward and lives depend on them continuing to take action. As we enter the last weeks of the budget, both the Assembly and the Senate must stay strong and ensure that opioid settlement dollars are allocated to Overdose Prevention Centers in the final budget.”
The passage of the Safer Consumption Services Act out of the Assembly Health Committee comes on the heels of the Senate adding an additional $40 million dollars of opioid settlement funds to Overdose Prevention Centers in their One-House budget Aids to Localities bill.
In December, members of the Opioid Settlement Funding Advisory Board and harm reduction advocates were outraged by a letter from Governor Hochul rejecting Opioid Settle Funds be used to support Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs). This comes after New York City’s nation’s first two sanctioned OPCs run by OnPoint have saved nearly 800 lives since opening in November 2021 – all while the state loses 16 New Yorkers a day to preventable overdoses .
Interim Health Commissioner Dr. McDonald, comes from the Rhode Island Department of Health – the state has already committed to using $2 million in opioid settlement money to create Overdose Prevention Centers.