House Human Services Committee approves Cruz resolution on cognitive disabilities, opioid bills

HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, said the committee unanimously approved a legislative package today that would fight the ongoing opioid epidemic and ensure equal rights for people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access.

“I’m very thankful that we could approve these bills in committee and allow the full House to vote on these important issues,” said Cruz, D-Phila. “My House Resolution 74, works to make sure we close the gap on the vast majority of people with cognitive disabilities who have limited or no access to the comprehensible information and usable communication technologies that most of us today have in the palm of our hands. When we have these tools at our disposal, we can make better educated decisions about our health and wellness as a result.”

Nearly 30 million citizens in the United States are living with some form of cognitive disability, whether an intellectual disability, severe mental illness, learning disability, brain injury, and many others such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Other measures approved by the committee include H.R. 216, H.B. 596, and H.B. 1024:

  • House Resolution 216 would establish a task force on overdose recovery and direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on warm hand-off to treatment for people with substance abuse disorder in the commonwealth and report those findings to the House of Representatives.
  • House Bill 596 would create a detoxification and addiction treatment bed registry.
  • House Bill 1024 would ensure that a positive drug test is not required to start addiction treatment.

“Addressing the opioid crisis remains a top priority for me and for the Human Services Committee, so it is my hope that, in addition to my resolution, the bills dealing with addiction and treatment are passed fully by the House and Senate,” Cruz said.