Local Law B of the year 2018: A Local Law declaring the opioid epidemic and its effects on the County a public nuisance and establishing a cost recovery procedure.
Purpose and intent.
A. The opioid epidemic is sweeping the country. Indeed, addiction to and abuse of opioids is one of the greatest challenges facing Schuyler County, New York (the “County”). A cause of this increasing crisis is the overabundance of prescription opioids. Large amounts of prescription opioids were sold, distributed, and prescribed in the County over the past several years, a practice that continues today. The selling, distributing, and prescribing of large amounts of opioids in our community has created a public health and safety hazard affecting the residents of the County. This crisis has devastated families, wreaked havoc on our economy, and produced a generation of narcotic dependence. As a result of the opioid epidemic, costs related to healthcare, family and social services, criminal justice, addiction and rehabilitation, and many other areas have significantly increased. Many of these costs are paid by the County.The complete text of the proposed local law can be found here.
B. The purpose and intent of this legislation is to allow the County to recover these costs, despite the existence of the common-law municipal cost recovery rule (a.k.a. free public services doctrine) and declare the opioid epidemic and its effects on the County a public nuisance. Specifically, the County provides services related to the opioid epidemic, which are funded by tax revenues. This statute clarifies that reimbursement may be sought for the costs of providing such services, whenever practicable, from the responsible party. To accomplish this, the County establishes this cost recovery procedure and declares the opioid epidemic and its effects on the County a public nuisance.