Governor Signs Pileggi Bill to Save Lives in Drug Overdoses

JOHNSTOWN – Governor Tom Corbett today signed legislation to help save lives in the case of drug overdoses. The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), provides Good Samaritan immunity from prosecution for certain drug crimes to bystanders who seek help when someone is suffering a drug overdose.

Senate Bill 1164 was amended in the House to make naloxone, an anti-overdose drug also known as Narcan, more easily available to police, firefighters, and the family and friends of those at risk of overdosing.

“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen opioid addiction and overdoses ruin people’s lives and tear families apart, which is why these actions are absolutely critical to stop the escalating opioid problem statewide,” Governor Corbett said. “The bill I am signing today will save lives and ensure those who help someone in need aren’t punished for doing so. I applaud Senator Pileggi for his work on Senate Bill 1164.”

“This bill responds to an urgent crisis in Pennsylvania,” Senator Pileggi said. “Over the past five years, nearly 3,000 heroin-related overdose deaths have been identified in our state. I’m very pleased to stand with Governor Tom Corbett, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan as this bill becomes law.”

Senator Pileggi saved his strongest thanks for members of the Massi family, who first approached him to introduce the legislation. David Massi II died of a multiple drug intoxication in January 2013. David’s mother, Daneena Dostellio, and his aunt, Lynne Massi, were in Johnstown as the Governor signed the bill.

“When I met with Lynne Massi, it put a very personal face on the need for this bill,” Senator Pileggi said. “I was especially pleased to have members of David’s family be on hand to watch David’s Law be signed by Governor Corbett.”

Senate Bill 1164 is supported by organizations across the state, including the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, the Pennsylvania Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association, and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.

CONTACT: Erik Arneson, earneson@pasen.gov, 717-787-4712