Friday, October 31, 2014

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett Signs Bills into Law to End Doctor Shopping and “Passing the Trash”

           Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, signed a number of particularly significant bills into law, among various legislation approved recently by the Republican-majority state legislature in its last session before the General Election on Tuesday.

            The first law signed by Governor Corbett eliminates “doctor shopping,” the practice of people who abuse prescription drugs by obtaining such drugs from more than one doctor willing to prescribe them simultaneously, by establishing a statewide drug prescription database.  The bipartisan legislation was cited as necessary especially to reduce addiction to cocaine and heroin, to which prescription drug abusers often are attracted, which has caused a spate of overdose deaths this year.

           The second law Corbett signed closes the legal loophole that allows teachers charged with child abuse who are fired by a school district from being hired by other school districts without any disclosure to their new employers of the abuse allegations, a practice known as “passing the trash.”  After the reform legislation was originally met with some resistance from the teachers’ union, the union changed its stance and the bill was approved by the General Assembly without opposition.

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