Buffalo, NY- Last week Legislator Burke held a press conference calling on Governor Cuomo to veto S. 6750/A. 387B- a bill that if it had been signed would’ve let the pharmaceutical industry off the hook and put the burden of cleaning up pharmaceutical pollution onto taxpayers. Yesterday, he vetoed the bill.
“This is a great victory for Erie County taxpayers. The governor’s veto of this bill means that local municipalities will retain the ability to implement drug drop off programs paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Programs like this have already been enacted in Rockland County, NY and proposed in both Westchester County, NY and here in Erie County. There is no reason why taxpayers should be asked to subsidize the waste from a multi-trillion dollar industry. Waste that’s being found in our waterways and that contributes to the opioid epidemic. Right now, there are limited options for residents to drop off excess medication in Amherst, Tonawanda, West Seneca, Lackawanna, Cheektowaga. With the Governor’s veto we can finally move to pass the Erie County Pharmaceutical Water Pollution Act which will ensure the expansion of drug drop off sites all over Erie County for all residents” Burke said.
“The opioid epidemic has rocked communities all across our region, and a key piece to combat it is to get these excess medications off the streets. Right now we’re doing that- but my bill will greatly expand the effort and put the financial burden where it belongs- on the industry that pushed for the overprescription of this medication in the first place” Burke said.