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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 242 — Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Program

by Fiscal Policy Committee; Health Policy Committee; and Senators Braynon and Flores

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Policy Committee (HP)

The bill creates the Miami-Dade Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA). The IDEA authorizes the University of Miami and its affiliates to establish a needle and syringe exchange pilot program in Miami-Dade County. The pilot program is to offer free, clean, and unused hypodermic needles and syringes in exchange for used needles and syringes to prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, AIDS, or viral hepatitis among intravenous drug users, their sexual partners, and offspring.

The bill requires security of the exchange sites and accountability of used and unused needles and syringes. The pilot program must also make available educational materials and refer participants for drug abuse prevention, treatment, and HIV and viral hepatitis screening.

The bill provides that the possession, distribution, or exchange of needles or syringes as part of the pilot program does not violate the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, or any other law. The bill requires the University of Miami to collect data for reporting purposes, with the final report due August 1, 2021, but prohibits the collection of any personal identifying information.

The bill prohibits state, county, or municipal funds from being used to operate the pilot program. Instead, the pilot program must be funded through grants and donations from private resources.

The pilot program expires on July 1, 2021.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016.

Vote: Senate 37-2; House 95-20