PHILADELPHIA - Local lawmakers are continuing their efforts to prevent supervised injection sites from opening in Philadelphia without public input.
On Monday, Senators Anthony Williams and Tina Tartaglione will introduce Senate Bill 933, which would prohibit supervised injection sites unless they are authorized by local governments.
The bill comes less than a week after a Safehouse announced plans to open a safe injection site in South Philadelphia. Those plans have since been cancelled as community members accused Safehouse officials of ‘blindsiding’ them and trying to open the site without public input.
“I am deeply troubled by the unnecessary confusion, fear, and anxiety caused by Safehouse’s lack of transparency surrounding its location for a supervised injection site. An entire community in South Philadelphia was blindsided when the news broke that a site had been chosen,” Williams said. “I have proposed legislation along with Senator Tartaglione that would bring needed transparency to the conversation surrounding supervised injection sites in Pennsylvania. It empowers local communities and local governments to provide input and ensures safety and security for all. I urge the Senate to vote on SB 933.”
Senate Bill 933 would require three public input hearings before any decisions about a supervised injection site are made. Officials working to open a safe injection site would also be required to submit a comprehensive community safety plan that would be developed alongside local law enforcement.
“We cannot overcome the opioid crisis or advance community health by pursuing policies and programs that largely ignore the community,” Senator Tartaglione said. “The legislation proposed by Senator Williams and me – Senate Bill 933 – would guarantee community input by mandating public hearings and by requiring operators to develop proactive and comprehensive community safety plans. Our bill would force organizations to take neighbors into consideration before establishing safe-injection sites.”
Late last week, Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh has introduced a bill that would require the city to hold public hearings to obtain approval from communities before opening safe injection sites.
Senator Williams and Tartaglione are expected to talk more about the bill during a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday. You can watch the press conference live HERE.
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