Holcomb signs pre-K expansion, needle exchange bills

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law measures expanding the state’s preschool pilot and allowing local governments to establish their own needle exchange programs.

The preschool pilot will expand from five counties to up to 20 under the bill. Funding also increases by $9 million yearly, with an additional $1 million sent to an online preschool program.

Holcomb said in a statement Wednesday that it gives more students “a great start” to their educations.

He also signed drug-related measures that limit the amount of opioids that can be given for first-time prescriptions and enhance penalties for robbing a pharmacy or pharmacist.

He says those measures, with the needle exchange bill, will help attack the state’s drug epidemic.

All were part of the Republican governor’s agenda this legislative session.

“It’s great to see legislators and the Governor taking issues like pre-k education and the opioid crisis so seriously and tackling it from various fronts,” Dr. Deb McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner, said.

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