Senate President Mike Haridopolos said "a mistake was made" Thursday when the Senate quickly passed an amendment to provide $1.75 million worth of state funding for the a prescription drug monitoring database. He said he will require the Senate to repeal it.
The amendment was introduced by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, the sponsor of SB 818, which is intended to curb prescription drug abuse in the Florida. When asked by Haridopolos to explain the amendment on the floor, Fasano said, "This funds the presciprtion drug monitoring database." The amendment passed with no discussion.
Fasano's bill also repeals a current law that prohibits using state money for the database. The House bill maintains that provision. The House's proposal also bans pharmaceutical companies from providing funding for the database. As it is now, the program is supported by grants and private donations.
Many believe the database is a critical tool for fighting the prescription drug problem. Addressing concerns about a lack of funding for the program, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced earlier this week that law enforcement officials throughout the state have offered to contribute money generated through seizures of criminals' assets and money to fund the the database.