Ohio State Representative Richard D. Brown (D-Canal Winchester) called on the State Senate Thursday to pass House Bill 10 (HB 10). The legislation was passed unanimously in June, 2019 with the help of the bill’s co-sponsor Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Township).
“The all-encompassing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies exactly why we need a dedicated office to focus on drug addiction in our state. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball even in the face of another crisis,” said Rep. Brown in a statement.
HB 10 – designated a priority bill by House Speaker Larry Householder – establishes the Governor’s Office of Drug Policy.
“This legislation will allow state agencies and local governments to work together utilizing the best methods available for drug treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation,” State Rep. Stoltzfus said in his introduction of the bill in 2019.
After its passage in the House, the bill was taken up by the State Senate and referred to the General Government and Agency Review Committee. From there, the bill was sent to the Finance Committee, where it sits as of this writing.
“Despite the COVID-19 crisis, those struggling with addiction still have to deal with these issues, and that is harder to do in a system that is disjointed and without comprehensive state-wide direction,” Brown said, adding:
As we have seen through the actions of Gov. DeWine in the coronavirus crisis, strong statewide leadership and direction can produce better results than local efforts disconnected to a larger strategy.