Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Sullivan Republican: Greitens executive order good first step in fighting opioid epidemic
Despite the fact that regular session ended May 12, between legislation the governor has signed, an executive order, and the call for extraordinary sessions, there is plenty to report on this week.
On Monday, the governor signed an executive order to make Missouri the final state in the nation to create a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). During this past legislative session, I filed two bills that had the same intent as the governor’s signed order. I filed Senate Bill 231, the Narcotics Control Act, also known as the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). And I also filed Senate Bill 314, which is the same as Senate Bill 231 in that it would have established a PDMP.
The purpose of the legislation I filed was to help control the ever-growing opioid epidemic in our state. The governor’s executive order will do that and I am thankful that our state now has a program to monitor these addicting medications. The executive order will not track patients’ personal information and will only alert staff within the Department of Health and Senior Services of possible suspicious activity based off abnormal prescribing and dispensing patters. While the governor’s executive order is not exactly what I proposed, it is an important step in fighting the opioid scourge that has hit our community so hard.
The first bill I filed in advance of the 2017 Legislative Session was Senate Bill 64. This bill was passed by the Legislature and recently signed by the governor. It will name a Franklin County bridge for Lyndon Ebker, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) employee who was tragically killed in an accident while inspecting a bridge after 30 years of service. The Ebker family joined me, Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, (the House sponsor of the bill), and MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna in the governor’s office for the bill signing. Gov. Greitens spoke with the family before signing the bill in Lyndon’s honor. Director McKenna told the family that a framed copy of the bill will be placed in MoDOT shed where Lyndon frequently worked.
The Senate is also reconvening soon to finish consideration on Senate Bill 5 of the second extraordinary session of the summer. This important pro-life bill has my complete support and I am hopeful that we will pass the strongest possible version of this bill to protect life and protect alternatives to abortion centers in our state.