Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay has been honored by the Florida Association of Counties for her efforts to help communities across the state deal with the opioid epidemic.
At a ceremony Wednesday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, McKinlay received the Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award, which is presented to a county elected official who has shown extraordinary leadership.
“Her commitment to opioid abuse saw success with additional federal and state funding as well as tougher penalties,’’ FAC President Kathy Bryant said as she presented the award to McKinlay.
On Thursday, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order extending his public health emergency declaration on the opioid crisis for another 60 days. McKinlay had sent him a letter earlier this month requesting the extension.
McKinlay also was among the first public officials in the state to lobby Scott for the initial declaration, which he issued May 3. She helped persuade the commission in April to adopt an initial $3 million plan to address the crisis.
McKinlay will be the keynote speaker Aug. 31 in Boca Raton at a rally to observe International Overdose Awareness Day. She will speak as a guest of Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates. The rally will be held at Florida Atlantic University from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award is named after the late Marlene Young, who served as a County Commissioner in Polk County from 1988-2000. She was a founding member of the Florida Counties Foundation, and in 1993 she became President of FAC.