A southeast Missouri state lawmaker who has championed prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation for years hopes to pass it in her final year in the Missouri House.

State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Scott City, speaks on the Missouri House floor on May 13, 2019 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Missouri is the only state in the nation without a PDMP, which is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state.

State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Scott City, tells Missourinet she’ll prefile her PDMP bill in December. Rehder, who chairs the House Rules Committee, will be in her eighth and final year in the House in January, because of term limits.

Rehder has sponsored the legislation for years, citing the toll the opioid epidemic is taking on Missouri families.

The House approved her bipartisan bill in February by a 103-53 vote but the bill died in the Senate, primarily because of opposition from the Senate Conservative Caucus. Caucus members like State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, have privacy and other concerns with PDMP.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, tells Missourinet he’s backing Rehder’s effort, again. Schatz has voted for PDMP every year.

“I will be supporting it as I always have and trying to work with senators to finally put this issue behind us,” Schatz says.

During a Statehouse interview in May during the final day of the 2019 session, Schatz expressed disappointment the bill failed this year.

“But I will tell you that we will come back next year and I have three more years in this chamber (Missouri Senate). And I will work every year until we get that thing accomplished,” Schatz said that day.

Rehder’s PDMP legislation has had consistent support from both House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, and House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) has also called on the Legislature to pass PDMP, saying drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in Missouri and the nation.

Blunt addressed the Missouri House in April, noting that firefighters in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights have told him they’re ten times as likely to respond to a drug overdose as a fire.

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