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Massachusetts Opioid Legislation Highlights

To: MASC School Committee Members
From: Stephen Finnegan, Esq., MASC Legal Counsel
Date: March 11, 2016
Re: MA Opioid Legislation

Following please find a summary of the educationally pertinent provisions of the Opioid Legislation (H.4056). MASC worked with the legislative leadership to ameliorate some of the mandate provisions of H.4056. For example, the screening of students for substance abuse was reduced to verbal and only at two grade levels to be recommended by DESE. Most importantly, the verbal screening provision is subject to appropriation. Finally, MASC worked hard to secure subsection (e) that provides no liability caused by an act or omission resulting from the implementation of this section. The substance abuse screening will not be implemented until the 2017-2018 school year. Parents or students may opt out of the screening. Also, MASC recommended a good samaritan provision regarding the administration of Naloxone to protect school employees, among others.

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