State lawmaker’s family tragedy propels overdose bill

By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A former lawmaker’s tragedy is propelling the Rhode Island General Assembly to reauthorize her expired good Samaritan law that protected people from prosecution if they called for medical help when someone was overdosing.

Former state Sen. Rhoda Perry, a Providence Democrat, sponsored the 2012 law that expired in July after political gridlock blocked its renewal. She said in an interview that it grew more personal last month following the death of her 44-year-old son who struggled for years with addiction.

He had contacted her last summer when the law expired because he was concerned it would endanger lives.

The state Senate voted 35-1 to reauthorize the law Wednesday after expressing condolences to the former senator. The House will take up an identical bill Tuesday.


© The Associated Press WLNE-TV   2015