Vermont: Overdose Prevention Center Bill to Become Law After Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto

Vermont’s Legislature has overridden Governor Phil Scott’s veto of an overdose prevention center bill.

House Bill 72 was approved by the Vermont House of Representatives in January with a vote of 96 to 35. On May 1, the measure passed the Senate 21 to 8, sending it to Governor Phil Scott, who vetoed the bill on May 30.

Today, both the House and Senate voted with the necessary two-thirds majority to override the veto, enacting the measure into law.

The new law will “appropriate $1,100,000 in fiscal year 2025 from Opioid Abatement Special Fund to the Department of Health (VDH) for the purpose of awarding a grant to the City of Burlington for establishing an overdose prevention center upon submission of a grant proposal that has been approved by the  Burlington City Council.”

The measure would also “require that VDH contract with a researcher or independent consulting entity with expertise in the field of rural addiction or overdose prevention centers, or both, to study the impact of the overdose prevention center pilot program authorized in Sec. 2.”

The study shall “evaluate the current impacts of the overdose crisis in Vermont, as well as any changes up to four years following the implementation of the overdose prevention center pilot programs. In addition to interim annual reports, VDH would submit a final report with the results of the study and recommendations to the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2029.”

Finally, the measure would “appropriate $300,000 to VDH from the Opioid Abatement Special Fund for the purpose of funding the study required by Sec. 2.”

Currently just Minnesota and Rhode Island allow overdose prevention centers.

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