Pete was elected to represent New York State’s 40th Senate District in November 2018. Pete is currently the Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, and the founding Co-Chair of the Senate Joint Taskforce on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose Prevention. One of the biggest investments of Harckham’s time and effort during his first term was the Opioid Task Force. This task force focused on the challenges and opportunities that patients, doctors, municipalities, law enforcement, and treatment providers are facing.
As a result of the report that the Opioid Task Force issued, the Senate passed a package of bills designed to end the stigma of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), overcome barriers to treatment, stop patients from falling through the cracks, and expand access to MAT and Narcan. Despite all the good work that has been done, Harckham’s office continues its work in identifying areas where the state can better serve those with SUD.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Harckham has worked to ensure SUD providers are treated the same as other healthcare providers. Legislation that Harckham sponsored, now signed into law, puts the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) at the table with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for disaster planning and crisis response efforts. Another bill recently passed in the Senate will allow SUD peer counselors to bill for tele-health like all other health care providers.
Harckham continues to use his platform to destigmatize substance use, educate the public, and introduce legislation to ensure that every New Yorker struggling has a pathway to recovery.