Sen. Schiavoni proposes spending $200 million to fight opioid ep - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sen. Schiavoni proposes spending $200 million to fight opioid epidemic

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Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) is co-sponsoring a bill that would have Ohio spend ten percent of the state's so-called Rainy Day Fund on funding needs created by the opioid crisis.

Schiavoni says his bill would direct $200 million from the $2 billion Rainy Day Fund to provide targeted assistance for addiction treatment and prevention efforts, leaving more than $1.8 billion to address other state needs in the future.

If enacted, $100 million would be sent to the Local Government Fund for alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services boards, law enforcement, child protective services, kinship care, first responders, and establishing or expanding drug courts.

The remaining $100 million would be used to build addiction treatment infrastructure including increasing the number of beds and treatment facilities. Those already in operation would be prioritized.

Funding would also be used to collect data from each county, so the state could allocate resources in the most effective manner.

Regulations would be changed requiring insurers to cover medication assisted treatment such as Suboxone and Vivitrol.

The bill also helps Ohioans avoid premium increases due to new treatment requirements.

An online registry would be created that shows a real-time county breakdown on the number of available beds at detox treatment facilities.

Schiavoni also wants to spend $2 million a year from the general revenue fund to create an opiod prevention grant program to support school-based prevention curriculum.

Under the bill, commercial pharmacies would offer prescription drug take back programs.

“This bill would allow us to start addressing the opioid crisis immediately and send resources where they’d be most useful,” said Senator Schiavoni. “Every community is struggling to get a handle on this epidemic, but Columbus’ needs may be different than East Liverpool’s. With this infusion of dollars, local communities will have the flexibility to use these funds where they believe they will have the most impact.”

The bill contains an emergency clause, meaning all provisions except those relating to insurance would go into effect immediately after enactment.

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