03/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 18:07
Click here for video of the Senator's questions.
WASHINGTON - Senator Maggie Hassan emphasized the urgent need for additional federal funding to combat the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic, an assesment echoed by witnesses Governors Larry Hogan (R-MD) and Kate Brown (D-OR) today at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
Senator Hassan discussed how the $6 billion she helped secure in the latest bipartisan budget agreement to combat the opioid crisis 'is a start' and 'that we ultimately need far more funding beyond this to truly address this crisis,' and that she 'is going to keep fighting to help make that happen.'
When asked by Senator Hassan what additional funding would mean for efforts on the ground in their respective states, Governor Brown replied, 'Additional resources would be key for making sure we have affordable, generic overdose drugs available to all of our first responders. It is an issue for us. Having additional resources would be key.' Governor Hogan agreed with Senator Hassan that the $6 billion from the bipartisan budget agreement is a start, stating, 'I agree with you that we need more federal funding…not to say that $6 billion isn't a lot of money, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually need.'
Senator Hassan also highlighted the importance of expanding access to medication-assisted treatment. In addition, Senator Hassan pointed to efforts underway in schools across New Hampshire to address the opioid epidemic, including how some schools in the Granite State use federal funds to bring mental health and substance use professionals into schools to support children impacted by the opioid crisis. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan visited Laconia School District, which used SAMHSA grants to hire mental health clinicians, a drug and alcohol counselor, school-based social workers, and a health and wellness coordinator.