Several bills approved this week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and a public awareness campaign she endorses are expected to significantly impact two Michigan health issues.
Whitmer signed House Bills 4367, 4121, and 4296, as well as Senate Bills 200, 282, and 283 to let staff at public institutions administer medication to counteract opioids. Through the Administration of Opioid Antagonists Act libraries universities and other state and municipal entities with trained employees will be able to legally administer naloxone in emergencies that occur on the premises.
“This legislation will be useful in combating the public health crisis of opioid overdoses and deaths affecting families across the state,” Whitmer says. “With this bill package Michigan is demonstrating our bipartisan commitment to reducing opioid deaths and abuse here in Michigan.”
Whitmer also announced a campaign to promote new sampling rules under the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will work to increase communication with residents about changes designed to ensure safety in the wake of the Flint water emergency.
“When state agencies and local communities work together to protect public health we can ensure that every Michigander has access to safe, clean drinking water,” says Whitmer. “My administration continues to work towards real and permanent solutions that ensure every Michigander can bathe their kids and give them a glass of water at the dinner table safely. These changes to the Michigan Safe Drinking Act help build that confidence.”
The testing changes require lead samples to be taken from both the first and fifth liters of water drawn, which detects lead that might be farther upstream in the water supply into homes.
“These improved requirements will likely produce results with increased lead levels, not because residents’ water quality has changed, but because we have tightened our testing standards,” says Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Director Liesl Clark. “By implementing these changes we can better protect Michiganders against lead exposure in drinking water.”