Palm Beach County Mayor McKinlay Says Rick Scott’s Opioid Legislation Falls Woefully Short
Below is a statement from Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay on Rick Scott signing opioid legislation Monday:
“Unfortunately, Gov. Scott’s proposal simply doesn’t match the level of funding our community needs. The $14.6 million to expand treatment beds across Florida amounts to $217,000 per County. In Palm Beach County, we spent more than that on Narcan alone last year, more than $6 million in Fire Rescue costs and set aside $3 million to expand treatment options, medical examiner staff and to fund a Drug Czar position to help stem a crisis that has led to more than 10,000 overdoses and claimed more than 1,200 lives in my county alone in less than two years. I would think the Governor could do more.
“I joined Floridians across the state to push Scott to declare a public health crisis to address this epidemic, but sadly during his administration he made the problem worse by failing to take quick action and cutting the necessary resources throughout his administration.
“The opioid package signed by the Governor today is a small step in the right direction but it falls woefully short of meeting the demand for services our families need. The drug addiction and opioid epidemic in our community is destroying families, stretching our own medical and law enforcement resources to the breaking point, and we need a level of commitment from the state that matches the seriousness of this challenge.”
RICK SCOTT’S ABYSMAL, SELF-SERVING RECORD ON THE OPIOID CRISIS: SLASHED FUNDING FOR ADDICTION SERVICES, ELIMINATED THE OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL, ACTIONS “NOT ENOUGH” AND “TOO SMALL”
Capitol News Service: Under Scott Florida Cut Mental Health And Addiction Services By Over $11 Million in 2017. [WCTV, 7/11/17]
Pensacola News Journal: Scott “Took Major Step Backward In Effort To Fight Substance Abuse” By Closing Office Of Drug Control. “Gov.-elect Rick Scott took a major step backward in the effort to fight substance abuse in Florida by closing the Office of Drug Control. His ill-advised decision sends a message that drug abuse is no longer a problem or a priority in this state. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to drugs and alcohol, and the massive costs and problems associated with abusing them. The harsh reality is that substance abuse exacts a costly toll in terms of prosecution and imprisonment. The costs of drug and alcohol abuse to the state have risen to a staggering $46 billion. There also are many broken homes and ruined lives.” [Editorial, Pensacola News Journal, 12/28/10]
Scott “Stunned Law Enforcement” When He Proposed Eliminating Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Claimed It Was Not “Something The State Ought To Be Doing.” “Scott earlier this month had stunned law enforcement, legislators and Floridians who have lost relatives to pain pill abuse when he proposed eliminating the ‘prescription drug monitoring program,’ or PDMP. ‘I don’t think it’s the state’s responsibility,’ Scott said at a press briefing on Feb. 14. “I don’t think it’s something the state ought to be doing.” [Sun Sentinel, 2/26/11]
Miami Herald Editorial Board: Scott’s Efforts On Opioid Crisis Were “Not Enough,” “Too Small.” “State officials are on the case. Gov. Rick Scott extended his declaration of a public health emergency to distribute $27 million in federal money for various treatment and prevention programs, including $17.8 million for medication-assisted treatment and related counseling. A three-year minimum sentence for people caught with 4 grams of fentanyl or carfentanyl approved by the Legislature this spring and signed into law by Scott should be another deterrent to dealers. The $10.5 million in state money allocated by Tallahassee to reduce opioid dependency will help as well. But it’s not enough. The scale of this effort remains too small.” [Editorial, Miami Herald, 7/10/17]