Governor Rick Scott signed HB 477, which combats synthetic opioid drug abuse by enhancing penalties for the abuse of fentanyl and its derivatives. In May, Gov. Scott signed Executive Order 17-146 directing a Public Health Emergency in Florida, which allowed the state to immediately draw down more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Opioid State Targeted Response Grant.

Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Scott said, “I’m proud to sign this important piece of legislation today to help fight this national epidemic, which has taken the lives of too many Floridians. This legislation provides tools for law enforcement and first responders to save lives. We are committed to helping our communities fight opioid abuse, and that’s why I declared a Public Health Emergency to ensure that our first responders have immediate access to lifesaving drugs in order to respond to overdoses.”

Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “This legislation was my top priority this session — because it gives law enforcement and prosecutors the tools we need to combat the trafficking of fentanyl and save lives. I want to thank Gov. Rick Scott, Representative Jim Boyd, Senator Greg Steube and each member of the Florida Legislature that supported this life-saving legislation.”