Saying the “opioid crisis presents an existential threat,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala on Monday asked Gov. Rick Scott to use executive authority to provide $20 million for opioid-related services.
Latvala, in a four-page letter, requested that Scott extend an executive order about the opioid crisis and use state reserve funds for the services. Of the total, $9 million would go to residential treatment; $5 million would go to detoxification services; $3 million would go to outpatient treatment and recovery support; $2.4 million would go to prevention efforts; and $600,000 would go to specialized services, Latvala, R-Clearwater, said in the letter.
Latvala, who is running for governor next year, also said he will work on opioid-related funding issues during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Scott issued an executive order May 3 declaring a state of emergency because of the opioid epidemic and extended the order June 29 for an additional 60 days.
“The opioid crisis presents an existential threat to the people of our state as entire generations are quickly being lost or unable to meaningfully contribute as productive members of our society and economy,” Latvala said in the letter.