Massachusetts officials gearing up for Monday signing of opioid bill
BOSTON >> Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday plans to sign into law new restrictions on painkiller prescriptions and other policies aimed at increasing addiction awareness in the medical community and screening students for signs of substance abuse.
The governor has expressed increasing urgency for a bill to reach his desk addressing the scourge of drug addiction that kills four people per day. After more than a month of negotiation that bill was sent to the governor on Thursday while Baker was vacationing in Utah.
In signing the bill Monday, Baker will dispense with the 10 days granted him to review legislation, and the bill (H 4056) includes a provision that will make it effective immediately.
On Friday morning the governor's office declined to confirm that a signing ceremony will take place Monday, but the event was listed on the public schedules of Auditor Suzanne Bump and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, which were provided to the News Service.
Both schedules say the governor will sign the legislation into law at 10 a.m. Monday at the bottom of the Grand Staircase on the second floor of the State House.
The legislation will impose a seven-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions, allow individuals to receive a lesser amount of painkillers than the amount listed on a prescription and require medical professionals to undergo training in substance abuse.
The final version of the bill included provisions passed by either the House or Senate, including a Senate provision requiring school districts to verbally screen students for signs of drug use.
Baker, who made the Bay State's heroin and opioid problem a centerpiece of his 2015 inaugural address, had called for stricter measures, including a three-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions and authority for doctors to hold people for 72 hours if they are at risk of harming themselves with drugs.
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