It was a top recommendation by a statewide panel created by Gov. Rick Scott: bring back the Office of Drug Control to coordinate the state's opioid fight.

But of the four bills in the Legislature that would revive the office, not one has been scheduled to be heard in a committee yet.

With the 2018 legislative session already halfway over, the chances of one of them being passed is slim.

"You never know. I'm still working on trying to get it put up," said state Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, who sponsored one of the bills in the House. "There still is time."

He said he's had a hard time convincing Republican leadership, which controls the committees that hear the bills, that the office was necessary. He said they doubted the office was effective when it was around.

"I think that's something that was concerning to folks and didn't help with moving it forward," he said. "They didn't see the results."

The office was created by Gov. Jeb Bush in 1999 to coordinate the state's drug fight. Back then, the pill mill crisis was just beginning.

But when Scott took office in 2011, at the height of the pill mills and at the beginning of the heroin epidemic, he eliminated the four-person office.

Scott has not supported bringing it back, even after the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council, made up of people from nine state agencies and another seven people appointed by Scott, made it one of their top recommendations in their report last year.

Scott's office has said that the drug office's duties were given to other agencies. Council members, however, said having someone with a direct line to the governor would be critical to fighting the heroin epidemic, which killed at least 16 people a day in Florida last year.

"I think we need that authority, that power, to get things done," one of the board members, appointed by Scott, told the Times/Herald last month.

Whether or not the office was effective when it was around is debatable. The office helped craft laws that led to the pill mill crackdowns, and it found funding for the state's prescription drug monitoring program.

Duran said that if it was brought back, it could be made to be productive.

"I think this is a smart enough body that we can make sure it's impactful," Duran said.