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Local leaders: more funding is needed to fight the opioid epidemic

Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 18:20:26-04

Just one day before it was set to expire, Governor Rick Scott extended his emergency declaration
on the opioid crisis.

The rising number of over-dose deaths is now not the only crisis Palm Beach County is facing
when it comes to the opioid epidemic.

“Our situation is getting worse,” said Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Melissa McKinlay. “It’s not getting better.”

McKinlay, who has been at the forefront of this fight, says there is now a funding shortage.

“The Drug Abuse Foundation in Palm Beach County could lose 16 staff members and 40 beds without that funding.”

She says Florida is losing about $20 million in Federal money.

“We’re hoping that the Governor will, at least right now before session starts, at least provide
20 million dollars to make up for the hole that we lost.”

She’s echoing the request made by Senator Jack Latvala who sent a request to the governor Monday, asking the governor to extend his emergency declaration and to use $20 million in state funding to make up for these gaps.

The governor, who stopped in West Palm Beach Monday for a jobs announcement, said he has extended the declaration for another 60 days, and he working on allocating more money.

“I know the federal government is committed to being a partner, so I’m going to do everything I can to allocate the resources that we can,” said Scott.