A bill to allow supervised injection sites in New York state advanced in the state Senate on Tuesday as supporters hope for its final approval by the end of the legislative session on June 8. 

Supporters of the legislation have argued the measure is a potentially effective way of addressing a sharp rise in opioid use and overdose deaths in New York over the last several years. 

The measure, however, is controversial and faces criticism from Republicans who say it will not address the rise in overdose deaths. 

The bill cleared the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday and now will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee. The measure is yet to be approved in the state Assembly, where it's sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. 

"We are at a crossroads in our fight against the opioid overdose epidemic. We are losing more New Yorkers to overdose deaths than ever before while criminalization and stigmatization are only deepening an already dire situation," said Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera. "I am incredibly proud that today my Safer Consumption Services Act passed the Senate Health Committee. This evidence-based, internationally implemented public health approach will prevent overdose deaths, stop the spread of disease, and provide a path to recovery."

Advocates have cheered the advancement of the measure as a necessary public health measure.

"New York is one step closer to seeing Overdose Prevention Centers authorized across the state," said the group VOCAL-NY. "The Legislature needs to keep the momentum and pass the Safer Consumption Services Act out of both houses by the end of session.”

But opponents of the measure contend the proposal could prove unsafe for the state and people struggling with drug addiction. 

"I don't think we should just surrender and say, 'people are going to do this,'" Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said in March. "I think, if anything, we should do more drug prevention programs, more programs to help people who are addicted get off drugs."