Arizona House, Senate Pass Opioid Bill

Published: Friday, January 26, 2018 - 8:42am

The Arizona House has joined the state Senate in approving a proposal backed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey designed to crack down on opioids and cut the number of overdose deaths.

The unanimous action Thursday night at the Capitol comes after the governor called lawmakers into a special session on Monday to pass the legislation.

Ducey's proposal limits opioids to an initial five-day supply, boosts pain clinic regulation and adds $10 million to help uninsured and underinsured people get addiction treatment.

Majority Republican lawmakers voiced concern about unintended consequences for patients needing pain-killing drugs, the costs to doctors to implement the plan and a good Samaritan provision some lawmakers say shields lawbreakers.

But Senate majority leader Steve Yarbrough said it needed to be done.

"It's a giant problem. We heard all sorts of what, I thought, were wise suggestions for ways to make it better," Yarbrough said. "And that may very well have to happen in another year when we start to see this process work."

But, in the end, no one broke ranks and voted no. Ducey is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.

If you like this story, Donate Now!