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MLA Advocacy - June 27, 2019

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Narcan Bills Into Law

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 1:41 p.m. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Narcan bill package into law, with immediate effect. These bills will provide liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, common brand name Narcan, to an overdosing patron. This is a huge victory for our libraries and librarians.

"This legislation will be useful in combating the public health crisis of opioid overdoses and deaths affecting families across the state," Whitmer said in a statement. "With this bill package, Michigan is demonstrating our bipartisan commitment to reducing opioid deaths and abuse here in Michigan."

For the past year, MLA, the Library of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education have been working together to see this protection added for our libraries and library employees or agents to purchase, possess, distribute or administer in good faith an opioid antagonist without possible subject to criminal prosecution. The law will provide immunity to libraries similar to that provided to public schools.

To all that have worked diligently to make this a reality, a huge thank you. We extend our appreciation to Governor Whitmer for signing these bills into law, House Speaker Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) for requesting this year's redrafted Narcan bills and supporting this legislation, Sen. Stamas (R-Midland) for his continued leadership and support of libraries, bill sponsors Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville), Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren), Sen. Curt Vanderwall (R-Ludington) and Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.), and to the Michigan legislature for showing their support for our libraries.

And finally, thank you MLA members and library supporters. Without our collective efforts led by outstanding librarian leadership and a very dedicated MLA, this success would not have been possible.

The bills included in the package are:

HB 4367, sponsored by Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville), will allow a trained public employee to administer naloxone to an individual suspected of experiencing an opioid-related overdose.

Covered under this bill are employees of municipal corporations, counties, county road commissions, school districts, community college districts, public libraries, port districts, metropolitan districts, and transportation authorities, as well as to State of Michigan departments, commissions, courts, boards, councils, and statutorily created task forces.

SB 0200, now PA 36, sponsored by Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren), allows a prescriber to dispense Narcan to a school board so its employees could administer the drug to someone suffering from an opioid overdose.

SB 0282, sponsored by Sen. Curt Vanderwall (R-Ludington), requires a medical control authority to establish written protocols that ensure timely dispatch based upon medical need, and otherwise ensure high quality service and compliance with the law, not only for life support agencies but also for "emergency medical services."

SB 0283, sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.), immunizes public school employees from civil and criminal liability for administering medication to remove the immunity for administration of opioid antagonists.

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