2018-02-02 - Update

2018-02-02

 

An Important Issue for Maine Residents

 

Gideon on Pharmacy Board Decision to Amend Rules on Narcan Dispensation
Gideon: “We should do everything in our power to save every life possible.”
 
AUGUSTA - Today, Chairman Joe Bruno and the entire Maine Pharmacy Board finally took action on proposed rules related to LD 1594, An Act Regarding the Dispensing of Naloxone Hydrochloride by Pharmacists. At the request of Governor LePage, the Board amended the law to raise the age the life-saving drug could be dispensed to 21, from 18 as in the original rules.
 
Speaker Sara Gideon released the following statement:
 
“Addiction knows no age. Overdoses can strike at 18 or 19 or 29 or 54. And in every instance, at every age, we should do everything in our power to save every life possible. What the Board of Pharmacy did today has no basis in medical research or expert opinion, it was merely a petulant action at the behest of Governor LePage that directly contradicts legislative intent. While I’m grateful there is finally some clarity regarding dispensation, I will continue my work to ensure the Board of Pharmacy follows the law.”
 
BACKGROUND:
Lawmakers initially approved making naloxone available without a prescription in April 2016 (LD 1547, An Act To Facilitate Access to Naloxone Hydrochloride). At the request of the Board of Pharmacy, the Legislature clarified the language with an amended bill with the intent that dispensation would begin soon after rulemaking.  LD 1594, An Act Regarding the Dispensing of Naloxone Hydrochloride by Pharmacists, was passed by the Legislature in May of 2017.
 
The Maine Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously August 3, 2017 to approve rules related to LD 1594. Since then, the rules have been stuck in uncertainty due a lack of action from the Executive Branch. Speaker Gideon issued a joint letter with Senator Troy Jackson urging the Board to take action on rules related to LD 1594, An Act Regarding the Dispensing of Naloxone Hydrochloride by Pharmacists on January 27.

 

For me, this decision puts lives at risk.  Does one life matter more than another? How can we put these kinds of decisions into practice wtih a good conscience?

 


The week in education

This week was taken in the hearing and filing of several reports mandated by government review.  

I’ve taken the liberty of placing the links to several of those reports below.

 

  1. Veterans Licensing
  2. Special Education Cost Drivers
  3. 21'st Century Economy and Workforce Development
  4. Municipal Funding Reports
  5. Computer Science Task Force Report
  6. Opiod Task Force Report

 There is a running discussion within the committee on the issues and merits of LD1761  - the bill to carry guns in cars while in a school ground.  

Although I can clearly see that in Maine we live with guns, and that guns are an important and often necessary part of our lives, I find this measure faulty for several reasons.

We heard testimony that several superintendents would be following local rules to automatically go into “shutdown” mode when a gun was discovered on campus.  First, going into shutdown impacts the educative process., and that in and by itself can be disruptive. Second, the emotional after effects of a shutdown can further affect both students and teachers, But, third, and most importantly, someone must accept the fiscal responsibility for overseeing and solving the issues of the shutdown.  It is those fiscal reasons which can be concerning.

A further issue concerns local response to the issues of guns on campus. The measure does not outline the responsibility for supervision.  Should the school hire a guard to inspect every car or truck?  If the school decides that it is necessary to hire a guard, that fiscal note becomes considerable.

Allowing guns on school grounds for whatever reason is just not a good idea.

Schools in the state of Maine received their “279’s” this week. Those are the forms coming from the Department of Education regarding funding for next year.  These notifications are being impacted by last year’s legislation to increase school funding.  

Because every single school district and community has individual needs, individual valuations, and individual property tax formulas, a blanket statement is not possible.  The intention of the legislation was to push greater funds to those districts least able to pay and those districts with the greatest educational needs.  

Lewiston will receive additional funds.  On the other hand, Lewiston needs those funds to make sure its students have an education that meets their needs.

 

 

House Calendars

   Tuesday, January 30, 2018

   Thursday, February 1, 2018

 

Weekly Calendar of Legislative Events/Meetings

 

   Maine Legislative Calendar

 
Bill Text can be found using this link called Directory of Bills
  Bill Text
 
Link to Bill Status
   Bill Status
 

Events Calendars

   Click this link ot see an events calendar - Events

   Or, see the calendar in the side bar to the left.


As always feel free to contact me with qustions or observations.



On Re-election - Lastly, and regretfully. I've decided not to run for re-election to House District 59.   I will throw all my support behind the Honorable Margaret Craven, who has served in the legislature and brings experience and wisdome and dedication to the position. 



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