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Senate Backs Expansion Of Needle Exchange Program

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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, agreed Friday to scale back his efforts to take a needle-exchange program statewide.

Braynon approved making the change, saying “that’s the way the bill looks over in the House.”

The needle-exchange program is currently operated in Miami-Dade County by the University of Miami and is aimed at preventing the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users.

The House Health & Human Services Committee last week approved expanding the pilot program to Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Braynon on Friday agreed to do the same. After the change, the Senate voted 34-1 to approve Braynon’s bill (SB 800), with Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, the lone “no” vote.