STEVE'S LAW: Bill to fight heroin overdoses unanimously approved

STEVE'S LAW: Bill to fight heroin overdoses unanimously approved

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota House has passed Steve's Law on a rare 130-0 vote, a bill that would allow police officers and first responders to carry Narcan, a drug that can be used to revive people who have overdosed on heroin. 

FOX 9 INVESTIGATORS: Overdose antidote

Steve's Law was named in honor of Steve Rummler, who died of a heroin overdose on July 1, 2011. 

"Steve was an amazing man," Lexi Reed Holtum, Rummler's former fiance, said. "He was intelligent, hard working -- had an incredible family, was really well-known in the community for being a person that you would turn to anytime you needed anything."

Rummler had it all before a painkiller addiction led to heroin, and eventually to his fatal overdose. Now, his loved ones are celebrating the overwhelming support the bill named in his honor has received.

"This is a huge moment. We're thrilled," Reed Holtum said. "We're so proud of these legislators that have worked so hard to get this bill to become ready to go before the governor."

The issue is a personal one in the Minnesota Legislature. Sen. Chris Eaton lost her own daughter to a heroin overdose 7 years ago. 

"Eventually, the paramedics got there and brought the Narcan, but it was 20 minutes later and it was too late," Eaton recalled.

Although Narcan can counteract opiate overdoses, too few victims get it in time. That's why the law also grants prosecution immunity to anyone who seeks medical assistance for an overdose victim. Likewise, the law also grants prosecution immunity to anyone needing assistance for an overdose.

"With the enactment of Steve's Law, there's no more reason to be afraid," Reed Holtum said. "They can pick up the phone to save a life, call for help, and we're just certain it's going to turn the tides of opiate overdose."

The bill now goes back to the Senate for a minor fix and then to Gov. Mark Dayton, who is expected to sign it. So far this year, there have been 17 heroin-related deaths in Hennepin County alone. Last year, the county set a new record for heroin deaths at 56.

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