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Wolf Extends Opioid Emergency, Costa Proposes New Authority to Declare Emergencies

Governor Tom Wolf announced he is extending the state’s emergency in response to the opioid epidemic, and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa announced a new bill to expand the authority of the state secretary of health.

“We have made real progress during the disaster declaration to stem the tide of this epidemic and provide better resources and coordination for those on the front lines.  But it is critical that we keep building on our efforts at prevention, rescue, and treatment. I am extending the disaster declaration for another 90 days to ensure that my administration and local partners can continue to use every tool available to them to help people and communities in need,” Wolf said.  

In the announcement, Costa detailed Senate Bill 1001 that would give new authority to the state Department of Health.  

“Senate Bill 1001 would create the designation of a public health emergency declaration, which empowers the Department of Health to waive regulations, create new temporary regulations, publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for tracking and treating a disease, illness, or event, and allow public workers to provide treatment to control the emergency,” Costa said.

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