O'Mara welcomes governor's call to step up efforts to combat heroin, urges Assembly to follow Senate's lead on anti-heroin legislation

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 12, 2014

Albany, N.Y., June 11—State Senator Tom O’Mara  (R,C-Big Flats) today welcomed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for increased state and local efforts to combat the growing heroin crisis locally and statewide, and took the opportunity to urge state Assembly leaders to act quickly on a package of anti-heroin legislation O’Mara co-sponsors that the Senate approved on Monday. 

Cuomo announced yesterday that 100 additional State Police investigators will be added to focus on combating heroin’s resurgence and that access to naxalone, the heroin overdose antidote, would be expanded to all first responder units in New York State.  The governor also announced additional education and public awareness initiatives through the state university system.

“I welcome Governor Cuomo’s recognition that New York State needs to act now to protect our communities and families from heroin’s resurgence.  Earlier this week, the Senate approved a comprehensive anti-heroin strategy that also seeks to strengthen law enforcement and raise awareness,” said Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats).  “Now we need state Assembly leaders to follow the Senate’s lead before the end of this legislative session so that the governor can enact these additional, badly needed new laws to bolster law enforcement, enhance prevention and treatment, and provide for greater public awareness and education.”

The Senate’s anti-heroin strategy was developed by a joint, bipartisan Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction on which O’Mara served as a member.  The task force held nearly 20 public forums across the state beginning in early April, including one O’Mara sponsored at Elmira College in May.

The Senate hopes to have its proposed anti-heroin laws enacted before the scheduled conclusion of the current legislative session next week.

The full report of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, including a complete listing of proposed legislation, can be viewed HERE