Senator Nozzolio Introduces Legislation To Prohibit Medicaid Sponsored Viagra For Sex Offenders

Michael F. Nozzolio

May 23, 2005

Albany – Continuing his efforts to help protect our children from dangerous sexual predators, New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that he has introduced legislation (S. 5443) that would prohibit the use of state funded Medicaid dollars from being used to provide convicted sex offenders with Viagra and other related prescription drugs.

“It is an outrage that high-risk sex offenders in New York State have received Viagra paid for by New York State taxpayers,” said Senator Nozzolio, Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. “This inappropriate practice must be corrected immediately. Sex offenders have the highest rate of recidivism of any criminal and should not be allowed government sponsored access to drugs meant to enhance their sex drive.”

A recent report by the New York State Comptroller disclosed that between January 1, 2000 and March 31, 2005, nearly 200 Level 3 convicted sex offenders in New York received tax-payer funded Viagra.

Specifically, the legislation introduced today by Senator Nozzolio would prohibit the use of Medicaid funding for prescriptions and payments for Viagra and related medications for any registered sex offender who has been assigned a level one, level two or level three designation on the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

The New York State Sex Offender Registry holds the names of those convicted of crimes such as rape, sexual abuse, and sexual conduct against a child. Sex offenders are classified according to their risk of re-offending.

“This legislation will help to protect our children from dangerous sexual predators and I urge my colleagues in the State Legislature to support this important legislation,” concluded Nozzolio.