Pennsylvania State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr.
State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr.’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 10/5/2018 7:27:12 AM.
What district of Pennsylvania do you represent?
PA SD 43
Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?
Prevalent across every kind of community, and the Governor has declared it a statewide emergency
What are the two or three most significant bills that have been introduced in your chamber to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state?
• SB 391 – allowing families to petition for mandatory treatment of their addicted loved ones. That bill is in Senate Judiciary now
• SB 1001 – creating a public health emergency declaration, similar to an emergency declaration for any sort of natural disaster, this is more suited toward epidemics and the addiction crisis. That bill passed the Senate and is in the House Health committee
What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?
I am the prime sponsor of both
Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?
Not yet - waiting on the House to pass SB1001, but it left the Senate with no trouble
What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?
Seeing how hard it has hit my district, and how quickly it's grown. We've heard incredible testimony at policy hearings, and I heard a lot of more personal, local stories at a recent resource fair I hosted.
If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?
Most immediately, I'd like to move SB 1001 through the House. It would enable statewide agencies with much more power to address this crisis - we'd create more nimble programs, similar to what states are able to when a tornado, hurricane or other natural disaster hits.
Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?
More on the work our caucus has been doing, particularly during September for Recovery Month can be found here: http://www.pasenate.com/addiction/