King County Council members propose measure to allow safe injection sites

  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017 1:41pm
  • News

Five members of the King County Council introduced legislation that would – if passed – add an alternative to Initiative 27 on the February ballot.

I-27 proposes a ban on Community Health Engagement Locations (CHEL) – the safe injection drug sites – across King County. If the alternative legislation proposed by members is adopted by the full nine-member council, it along with I-27 would be on the February ballot.

The proposed alternative legislation would implement all the findings of the Heroin and Opioid Addiction Task Force, including the operation of two CHEL sites in King County, according to a county council media release.

The legislation is scheduled for a public hearing and vote at the council’s 1:30 p.m. Monday meeting.

A simple majority of five votes in favor would place the language on the ballot. Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles lead sponsored the legislation with Council Chair Joe McDermott and council members Claudia Balducci, Rod Dembowski and Larry Gossett serving as cosponsors.

If passed by voters, it would authorize a three year pilot project during which a maximum of two CHELs could be operated in county hot spots of concentrated substance use and related overdoes.

Kent and other cities have banned the safe injection sites from operating in their towns.

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