Senate backs expanding needle- exchange program

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NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, agreed on March 2 to scale back his efforts to take a needle-exchange program statewide.

Braynon approved making the change, saying “that’s the way the bill looks over in the House.”

The needle-exchange program is currently operated in Miami-Dade County by the University of Miami and is aimed at preventing the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users.

The House Health & Human Services Committee last month had approved expanding the pilot program to Broward and Palm Beach counties. Braynon agreed to do the same on March 2.

After the change, the Senate voted 34-1 to approve Braynon’s bill (SB 800), with Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, the lone “no” vote.

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