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updated: 9/9/2015 7:11 PM

State Senate seals override of Rauner's veto on heroin antidotes

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  • The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner's partial veto of a wide-ranging plan to fight heroin abuse.

    The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner's partial veto of a wide-ranging plan to fight heroin abuse.
    Associated Press Photo

 
 

Lawmakers finished overruling Gov. Bruce Rauner's rewrite of sweeping anti-heroin legislation Wednesday, creating a new law that seeks to make overdose antidotes more readily available and focus on treatment of addicts.

Rauner has largely been able to keep his vetoes on legislation intact despite Democrats' attempts to override him. His heroin veto was an exception as lawmakers of both parties pushed back against the governor's desire to control costs on the treatment of some addicts.

"The scourge of heroin knows no political affiliations," state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat and the proposal's sponsor, said. Supporters won the override attempt by a 44-11 vote.

Because the Illinois House voted to override Rauner last week, the proposal now becomes law. Some Republicans echoed Rauner's cost concerns, especially at a time when the state has been operating without a budget since July 1.

Rauner had supported most of the wide-ranging proposal, but he wants them to find money to pay for it.

"Governor Rauner remains committed to finding ways to combat heroin abuse in Illinois and looks forward to the General Assembly presenting a plan to pay for the added budget costs in the bill," spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement.

The new law means many efforts already under way in the suburbs to combat heroin use will be expanded statewide, such as well-established programs in DuPage and Lake counties that provide police officers with an antidote to heroin overdoses called naloxone, Narcan or Evzio.

Kotowski said lawmakers now need to monitor how the law is implemented, given the governor's objections.

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