Governor Walker Thanks the Legislature for Helping Build a Safer Alaska - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Governor Walker Thanks the Legislature for Helping Build a Safer Alaska

Legislation extends authority of Chief Medical Officer to distribute life-saving drug

March 21, 2017 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker thanked the Alaska Legislature for taking a crucial step to build a safer Alaska by passing Senate Bill 91, which extends the State’s Chief Medical Officer’s authority to distribute the life-saving drug naloxone statewide. Governor Walker signed the bill this afternoon from his office in Juneau.

“This is the first bill I have signed into law from the 30th Alaska Legislature, and I am grateful legislators have joined me in prioritizing such a critical issue,” Governor Walker said. “We are saving lives with this law. If administered in time, naloxone gives overdose victims a chance to survive, ultimately reducing the number of untimely deaths caused by opioid and heroin addiction. While there is still a great deal of work needed to combat this epidemic, this legislation will provide first-responders and community organizations across the state with greater access to naloxone.”

Introduced by Governor Walker, SB 91 is a part of the Governor’s plan to build a safer Alaska. It allows the state to use federal funds to assist with the distribution of naloxone, and gives the Chief Medical Officer greater authority to distribute the drug statewide.

· February 14 – Governor Walker issued a 30-day disaster declaration so naloxone could be distributed statewide

· February 16 – Governor Walker issued Administrative Order 283 establishing a plan of action that directs state departments to prioritize resources to combat the opioid epidemic and apply for federal grants to fund prevention, treatment and enforcement

· March 6 – Governor Walker filed legislation (HB 159/SB 79) to change the way opioids are prescribed and monitored

· March 10 – Governor Walker files SB 91 to extend disaster declaration

· March 21 – Governor Walker signed SB 91, life-saving naloxone bill, into law

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