Legislation sponsored by Del. Pillion signed into law

Since the end of the 2019 General Assembly session, multiple bills sponsored by Delegate Todd Pillion (R-4th District) have been signed into law. From enhancing Virginia's ability to combat the opioid epidemic to taking important steps to address elder and adult abuse, these new laws represent a commonsense approach to tackling systemic challenges in Southwest Virginia.

The opioid epidemic has been one of Delegate Pillion's top priorities since taking office. The signed legislation includes HB 2558 which targets cash clinics and pill mills. This new law will prohibit clinics from requesting or requiring that patients pay cash for an opioid or substance use treatment. This legislation will help divert patients to higher quality clinics that offer the care and support needed to combat this disease.

"The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest public health, economic, and workforce issues of our time," Pillion said. "Data from the Virginia Department of Health suggests that the reforms we've implemented are starting to have an impact, but our work is far from over. The focus must continue to be on saving lives, building stronger communities, and reinforcing our workforce to meet the needs of our region."

Also signed was HB 2557 which makes gabapentin a controlled substance. Gabapentin is the most commonly prescribed substance in Virginia and, according to experts, there has been a significant increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths where gabapentin was a contributing factor.

"Delegate Pillion has been a true champion for advancing important reforms that address this crisis on all fronts--prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery," said Dr. Sarah Melton, Chair of OneCare of Southwest Virginia. "This legislation being signed into law will have a direct impact on our ability to improve the standard of care for patients with chronic pain and substance use disorders."

Elder and adult abuse continues to be on the rise with vulnerable individuals finding themselves victimized by scammers. Similar to the existing child abuse teams, HB 2560 empowers localities to assemble experts across multiple disciplines to address the systemic issues related to this growing problem. This process will help prosecutors and law enforcement seek justice for those who are exploited.  

"These tragic cases are difficult to investigate and successfully prosecute," said Chuck Slemp, Commonwealth's Attorney for Wise County. "That is why I am thrilled that this legislation will become law to give us more tools in the effort to fight elder crimes and to establish a framework for a team-approach to review these cases. I remain grateful for the advocacy and leadership of Del. Pillion and Sen. Chafin on this important issue."

"Protecting our citizens and their rights is the most important work of government," Pillion said. "With an aging population, it’s critical that we form the systems and processes needed to help safeguard folks who may find themselves in abusive situations." 

The signed legislation will officially become law on July 1, 2019. 
Delegate Todd Pillion represents the 4th District in the Virginia House of Delegates which includes Dickenson and parts of Russell, Washington and Wise counties. He is a candidate for State Senate in the 40th District.
Paid for and authorized by Friends of Dr. Todd Pillion