Senate approves pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade

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Recognizing the need to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, the Florida Senate on Tuesday voted 30-10 to approve SB 408, sponsored by Sen. Oscar Braynon, to create a pilot needle- and syringe-exchange program for Miami-Dade County.

In the five-year program, drug users will have the opportunity to exchange used needles and syringes for clean ones.

The program will be privately funded, using no state money.

The House version (HB 491) has moved out of committee, but so far, it has not made it to a House floor vote.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.