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California Legislature

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes measure to create new state task force on opioid prescriptions

OxyContin pills (Associated Press)
OxyContin pills (Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure on Monday that sought to curb escalating opioid addiction rates by creating a new state working group tasked with determining best practices in prescribing addictive drugs.

The measure, Assembly Bill 715 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), would have directed the state Department of Public Health to convene doctors, opioid addiction specialists and other experts to examine how painkillers are being prescribed to treat acute, short-term pain.

The goal of the working group would have been to establish statewide guidelines on prescribing such drugs.

In his veto message, Brown acknowledged that opioid abuse "is a national epidemic that has been devastating for many California communities." But he said the bill was "unnecessary," noting the state public health department established an opioid addiction work group in 2014.

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