Senator Laura Sturgeon’s Senate Bill 76 is on its way to Governor Carney’s desk after the House and Senate passed it last week (well, the House passed it last week, the Senate a few weeks before).
Senate Bill 76 would add Delaware to a growing number of states allowing the distribution of testing strips to the public as a way to reduce inadvertent exposure to Fetanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is increasingly being mixed into illicitly sold drugs, often without the buyer’s knowledge, leading to fatal overdoses.
In Delaware, fentanyl was involved in 72% of overdose deaths during 2018, up from 58% in 2017 according to the state’s Division of Forensic Science. During 2018, there were more fatal overdoses than any year on record with 400 deaths. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were linked to more than 36,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2019 alone.
This Act exempts fentanyl testing strips from the drug paraphernalia statute. This Act also provides the limitations on liability for lay individuals and organizations because of the extraordinary epidemic of death that is occurring in Delaware as a result of fentanyl being mixed into illicit drugs. It is similar to liability exemptions already provided under Delaware law for certain types of volunteers and Good Samaritans and is an exception to the general public policy against civil immunity.
|Senate Bill 76 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Sturgeon, Townsend, Hansen, S.McBride, Ennis, Gay, Lockman, Mantzavinos, Paradee, Sokola, Lawson||Senate passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson|
|Bentz, Baumbach, Lambert, Mitchell, Morrison, Wilson-Anton, Briggs King, Ramone||House Passed 40-0-1. Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Bush, Carson, Chukwuocha, Cooke, Dorsey Walker, Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Bush Collins D.Short Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick||Dukes (Absent)|
|Current Status —||Sent to the Governor for his signature.|