PORTSMOUTH – The Portsmouth City Council has voted to table its proposed Standard of Care Legislation that targets addiction treatment facilities.
The legislation would require a $10,000 registration fee on addiction treatment facilities, as well as impose a 1% tax on inpatient facilities and a 2% tax on outpatient facilities. Mayor Dunne has previously said the funds from the fees and taxes would be used to offset the cost of the additional emergency services and code enforcement department due to the influx of those seeking, graduating, or leaving treatment.
“This acknowledges the amount of cost the city experiences,” said Mayor Dunne. “From police, fire, to code enforcement…there is a strain on our departments. We really don’t know the number of facilities or the proportion of individuals treated from Scioto County, or even the surrounding region, as compared to other areas throughout Ohio. Portsmouth has been asked to take on quite a lot and our departments have told us this.”
Mayor Dunne said the legislation was also proposed to eliminate bad actors in the treatment field. However, treatment facility owners and employees have taken exception to the legislation. HopeSource CEO Jay Hash spoke out at Monday evening’s council meeting – threatening litigation if the standard of care legislation is passed.
“I implore council to vote it down and not proceed with any further readings,” said Hash. “The proposed ordinance is unlawful…It’s arbitrary and it treats addiction facilities different than any healthcare provider, anywhere. That is discrimination.”
“I ask that city council consider other measures besides this standard of care. If not, we will likely be left with no recourse other than to pursue litigation to address the constitutional defects in the proposed ordinance.”
After Hash spoke, council went into executive session to discuss possible litigation. When they returned, they voted 6-0 to table the ordinance.
The next Portsmouth City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 8th at 6PM.
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