Execution Capitol of America –
June 7, 2019 – In 2015, a Good Samaritan bill reached the governor’s desk with near-unanimous support. Abbott had the power to prevent opioid overdose deaths with his signature, but instead vetoed the bill.In his accompanying statement, he said it did not do enough to prevent misuse of the Good Samaritan defense by “drug abusers and drug dealers.”
Two new Good Samaritan bills – Senate Bill 305 and House Bill 2432– were refiled this session. But four years and thousands of opioid overdose deaths later, not much changed in the governor’s office. Abbott signaled continued unwillingness to enact a Good Samaritan law, effectively blocking the bills from consideration. His reluctance persisted despite safeguards in the new bills to prevent bad faith claims of the Good Samaritan defense, despite no evidence of habitual misuse from at least 40 states with active Good Samaritan laws and despite a recommendation to enact such a law from the House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse — a panel that included several of Abbott’s tough-on-crime colleagues.