WI Assembly Passes Heroin Bills

Hudson state Rep. Dean Knudson backed the measures, which now move to the state Senate.

Wisconsin state Capitol. File photo
Wisconsin state Capitol. File photo
Four bills meant to stem the social damage and dangers of heroin abuse passed in the opening hours of the Wisconsin State Assembly session Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Next stop is the state Senate. 

State Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) has been a strong backer of the legislative package. He held a listening session on the legislation Monday night in Hudson. At the Capitol Tuesday, Knudson took the floor to emphasize the importance of the bills for his district, citing local heroin-related deaths in the last few years. (See video of Knudson's speech at Wisconsin Eye.) 

Here is a statement Knudson released Tuesday after Assembly's vote: 

“Heroin addiction and tragic overdose deaths have hitting St. Croix County hard.  These bills are not the solution to the problem, nor are they the end of the legislature’s action. However, they represent an important starting point.  I thank my colleague, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) for his hard work and leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working on further measures.

“This problem will ultimately be solved through education of our families.  However, we as legislators must do our part to ensure that everyone, particularly our medical and judicial systems, have every possible tool at their disposal to help save lives.” 

Here are the four bills: 

AB 445: Requires people who pick up opiate prescriptions to show a photo ID

AB 446: Allows more EMTs and first responders to administer Narcan, a drug that can help counter a heroin overdose

AB 447: Provides limited immunity from certain criminal prosecutions for a person who brings another person to an emergency room or healthcare facility, or calls 911 for a person who is overdosing

AB 448: Encourages the operation of community drug disposal programs statewide to accept and properly dispose of unwanted prescription drugs


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