Syringe Exchange Extension Sent To Governor

Mar 5, 2020

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) lead the way on legislation in 2015 that allowed counties to create syringe exchange programs in Indiana.
Credit Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana’s syringe exchange programs will get “another year of certainty” after a bill extending them was sent to the governor Thursday. 

State law would eliminate Indiana’s nine syringe exchange programs after July of 2021. And after the Senate killed a bill earlier this session to permanently extend them, many worried the programs were running out of time.

Now, they’ve been given a respite – albeit a short one. Legislation the House overwhelmingly sent to the governor extends the programs until July 2022.

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) says that extra year is vital for programs that provide so much more than just clean needles.

“Referrals to substance use disorder treatment and mental health services, health insurance and medical care, testing for HIV, hepatitis C and STDs, naloxone and food, housing, clothing, transportation and other necessities,” Clere says.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to sign the bill.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.