Buentello-Garcia Bipartisan Bill to Tackle Opioid Addiction Heads to Governor’s Desk

Bipartisan  to help increase child care options in the state also on the move

(Apr. 27) – The House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Bri Buentello and President Garcia’s  that would expand a Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) pilot program that is currently only offered in Pueblo and Routt Counties. This expansion would add another ten counties across the state to the program.

“Two years ago, the legislature created the pilot MAT program. We saw how well that program worked, so it’s time we expand this program to help those in Southern Colorado,” said Rep. Buentello, D-Pueblo. “This bill will save lives and help Coloradans who are struggling with addiction get they treatment they need.”

SB17-074 created a two year MAT expansion program through the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing to expand access to medication-assisted treatment to opioid-dependent patients. It also provided behavioral therapies in conjunction with medication as part of the provision.

“Hundreds of Coloradans die every year at the hands of opioids and I am proud that this life-saving bill will soon be signed into law and helping Coloradans get the treatment they need,” said President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “We have seen tremendous results from this pilot program in Pueblo County and Routt County and this expansion will help even more Coloradans, particularly those in high-need areas of our state, who are battling drug abuse and addiction.”

SB19-001 would expand the program to make it available to counties in Southern Colorado, including Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Huerfano, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Sagauche, and two additional counties who demonstrate a need. It also increases the appropriation for the pilot program to $5 million for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years. Finally, it extends the program for another two years.

The House approved SB19-001 on a bipartisan vote of 54-7. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

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