Md. Governor, Senate president, Speaker sign bipartisan bills to combat opioid overdoses

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, center, signs a bill between Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, left, and House Speaker Michael Busch during a bill signing ceremony following the state's legislative session at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Bills designed to battle opioid overdoses and abuse were among 210 bills signed into law Thursday by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch.

One measure is called the HOPE Act, the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort and Treatment Act of 2017, which the governor called a bipartisan omnibus bill. It requires hospitals to set a new protocol for discharging patients treated for substance abuse disorders.

It also increases access to the overdose-reversal drug known as naloxone. The bill also provides added funding for community behavioral health providers.

A separate bill, the Start Talking Maryland Act, requires education programs in schools on opioid addiction.

The governor and the presiding officers also enacted into law the Prescriber Limits Act of 2017, requiring doctors to limit opioid prescriptions to the lowest effective dose.

Another new law will allow prosecutors to call for an additional 10 years for drug dealers who knowingly sell fentanyl and carfentanil, which has caused at least four overdose deaths recently in Maryland, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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