We are too close to lifting the federal syringe exchange funding ban to allow it to fail. Attempts to put it back in after it was removed in House committee were defeated, but by a very close margin. What did stick, unfortunately, was an amendment to deny federal funds to any SEP within 1000 feet of a school, rec center, daycare center, playground, video arcade, or anywhere groups of children may go on even an occasional basis. For almost every existing syringe exchange project, and in most cities overall, this would present a huge barrier.
So, we have 2 important tasks - to get the overall ban removed & to get that amendment removed. The decision will most likely be made in a closed conference between Senate and House Appropriators in mid-September, and we
need those legislators to walk in there knowing what they have to do. This is a KEY TIME for you to act.
IF YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE: Send a letter directly to your Senator from our Online Action Center and ask that they resist any restrictive amendments from both the Financial Services and Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bills, and to leave the decision of how and where to offer services to the local public health and public safety communities. Feel free to use the pre-written one provided or write your own.
IF YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES: Please follow up with a personal call to your Senators health advisors and speak to them directly. You can reach them through the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-828-0498, or 1-800-459-1887.