Senator Proposes Needle Exchange For Miami-Dade
Two South Florida lawmakers are renewing an effort to create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County to try to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, filed a proposal (SB 242) on Tuesday, about three weeks after Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, filed a similar measure (HB 81). The bills will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.
Under the proposals, the University of Miami and its affiliates would operate a program that would allow people to exchange used needles and hypodermic syringes for clean needles and syringes. The goal would be to prevent the transmission of diseases such as HIV, AIDS and hepatitis.
Under Braynon's proposal, the pilot program would end July 1, 2020, while Edwards' proposal includes an expiration date of July 1, 2021.
Lawmakers have proposed similar programs in recent years but have not been able to get them passed.