Springfield, Mass., City Council Sends Needle-Exchange Measure to Committee
The Springfield, Mass., City Council last week sent to committee a proposed measure that would allow the city to operate a needle-exchange program in an attempt to curb the spread of HIV and other bloodborne illnesses, giving the proposal "a chance for hope," the Springfield Republican reports. The measure likely would have been defeated if the council had voted on the proposal, according to the Republican. Springfield City Council member Bud Williams, who sponsored the measure, said he is proposing a needle-exchange program for public health reasons, the Republican reports. The committee referral will allow the measure to be "reworked to try to win over reluctant councilors," according to the Republican. As of Dec. 6, four of the nine councilors -- Kateri Walsh, Jose Tasado, Williams and William Foley -- supported the measure, while five -- Domenic Samo, Angelo Puppolo, Timothy Rooke, Daniel Kelly and Rosemarie Massa Moriarty -- opposed it (Plaisance, Springfield Republican, 12/9). Supporters of the proposal need to obtain a total of six council votes to override a veto by Mayor Charles Ryan (D), who opposes the proposal (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.