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There is no significant implication to the State.
There could be costs to a local governmental entity that chose to authorize the establishment of a program. However, it is assumed that a county or a hospital district would authorize a program only if sufficient funds were available or it would not result in a negative fiscal impact; therefore, no significant fiscal impact is anticipated.
HB 65 would add Subchapter J to Chapter 81 of the Health and Safety Code to permit a county or a hospital district to authorize an organization to establish a Pilot Program to Reduce Risk of Certain Communicable Diseases.
The bill would authorize the pilot program to include disease control outreach programs that provide for the anonymous exchange of used hypodermic needles and syringes for an equal number of new hypodermic needles and syringes. Districts would offer education on the transmission and prevention of communicable diseases and assist program participants in obtaining health care and other physical and mental health-related services, including substance abuse treatment services and blood-borne disease testing.
The bill would create exceptions
to the application of the offense of possession or delivery of drug
paraphernalia for people who exchange needles under this program.
The provisions of the bill would apply only to Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Nueces, Travis, and Webb Counties.