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Governor Walker Thanks the Legislature for Helping Build a Safer Alaska

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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.

Timeline
· 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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