Philly Dem’s bill would give local residents a say over safe injection sites | Wednesday Morning Coffee

March 4, 2020 7:06 am

State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Philadelphia, speaks during a press conference at Philadelphia City Hall on Monday, 3/2/20 (Pa. House photo)

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

With a planned supervised injection site in Pennsylvania’s largest city currently on hold, one Democratic lawmaker says she wants to make sure local residents get their say before future sites are allowed to open in the commonwealth.

“I want to stress the opioid crisis is a public health epidemic, and I am working to make drug treatment options affordable and available to everyone,” state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Philadelphia said in a statement. “However, we need to ensure transparency is part of the process when deciding the location of supervised injection sites. The public deserves information and input about what is going into their neighborhoods.”

Donatucci and state Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia rolled out companion bills during a Monday news conference at Philadelphia City Hall.

The news conference comes amid an ongoing furor over the Safehouse anti-overdose site. State lawmakers have called for increased accountability and transparency, even as they’ve questioned the city’s commitment to fighting the opioid abuse epidemic.

State Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, speaks during a news conference at Philadelphia City Hall on Monday 3/2/20 (Philadelphia Tribune photo)

As it’s currently written, the companion House and Senate bills would require three public hearings in the “community of the proposed” anti-overdose site. The bills also would “give authorization for supervised injection sites via ordinance or resolution by the municipality in which the site would be located,” Donatucci said in a statement.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that individuals battling addiction are people with rights just like the rest of us,” Donatucci said. “But we must also give a quality of life to the lives we save.”

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
As they met to discuss the first update to Pennsylvania’s public school science standards in two decades, educators tell the Capital-Star that they want to see climate change education included in any new curriculumElizabeth Hardison has the story.

Stephen Caruso explains what’s at stake in the simmering debate over a $22 million tax credit package for the petrochemical industry.

Capital-Star Correspondent Michala Butler spoke to young LGBTQ Pennsylvanians about the impact of former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential candidacy.

Washington Bureau Chief Robin Bravender previews oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on a Louisiana abortion case that could have far reaching impacts across the nation. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office filed an amicus brief in the case.

And U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and his Democratic colleagues have called for ‘accurate information’ on coronavirus, even as they’ve slammed the Trump administration for its handling of the pandemic, Washington Reporter Allison Winter writes.

On our Commentary Page, Lynn Carey, a columnist for our sibling site, the Wisconsin Examinerwarns about letting Big Pharma cash in on coronavirus. And like it or not, America’s two party system is never going away. And we only have ourselves to blame, a Clarkson University scholar opines.

(Capital-Star file)

Former Vice President Joe Biden had a big Super Tuesday. But Sen. Bernie Sanders still took California. The Inquirer has the details.
The University of Pittsburgh has canceled its spring study abroad programs because of the COVID-19 virus, the Post-Gazette reports.
PennLive explains why Pennsylvania’s primary will still matter after Super Tuesday.
Outrage over the arrest of an undocumented immigrant at Northampton County’s courthouse has prompted the county executive to ban such arrests unless there’s a warrant, the Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:

A ‘secret’ working class neighborhood in Philadelphia has built its own wallWHYY-FM reports.
A Pennsylvania state lab can now do limited testing for coronavirus, the PA Post reports. 
With coal plants closing down, profiles one U.S. town testing an ‘off-ramp.’
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District, says he’d ‘support extraordinary measures,’ to fight coronavirus, HuffPost reports.

What Goes On.
If it’s a day that ends in ‘Y’ and it’s March, it’s time for another day of budget hearings.
House. (140MC):
10 a.m.: 
Dept. of Human Services
1 p.m.: Still more Dept. of Human Services
3 p.m.: Dept. of Revenue (continued)

Senate (Hearing Room 1, North Office Building):
10 a.m: 
Dept. of Environmental Protection
1 p.m.: Pa. Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association (Alright, someone take away Pat Browne’s stash of 5-Hour Energy Drink … ).

Gov. Tom Wolf 
takes his college affordability tour back on the road. He’ll make a 10:30 a.m. stop at Kutztown University in Berks County. At 1:30 p.m., it’s East Stroudsburg University in the Poconos.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, holds an 8 a.m. breakfast the Harrisburg Hilton. Admission ranges from a mildly tolerable $100 all the way up to a truly offensive $10,000.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Mary Alice Carter, of Equity Forward, who celebrates today. Congrats and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s some new music from Khalid and Disclosure. It’s ‘Know Your Worth.’

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
beat Tampa 2-1 on Tuesday night, building its Atlantic Division lead.

And now you’re up to date.

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