Shaheen Secures Resources for Opioid Crisis and Other Key New Hampshire Priorities in Newly Released Federal Funding BillsApril 21, 2016
**As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen helped secure an additional $22 million in appropriations legislation for law enforcement, treatment, drug monitoring and drug courts**
**Senator Shaheen also fought for relief for New Hampshire’s fishermen whose livelihoods are threatened by onerous new monitoring fees**
(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), through her role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, has secured federal resources for New Hampshire priorities in newly released government funding bills. Additional funding championed by Senator Shaheen to address the nationwide heroin and opioid pandemic; help New England fishermen overcome onerous new federal at-sea monitoring fees; and assist efforts to remove lead from homes, was included in appropriations bills that were passed by the Committee today and sent to the full Senate for a floor vote.
Senator Shaheen helped secure $22 million in additional funding to address the opioid crisis, including an additional $3 million, a 42 percent increase, for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Heroin Task Force to assist state and local law enforcement with the opioid pandemic. Senator Shaheen was instrumental in establishing this Task Force. There’s also additional funding for several federal grant programs to help states establish and maintain drug courts, reduce criminal recidivism through drug treatment, and help states with prescription drug monitoring programs.
“The federal government needs to be doing much more to help frontline states like New Hampshire battle the opioid pandemic, and today’s funding increases are another positive step in the right direction,” said Shaheen. “As any police officer or treatment provider in New Hampshire can tell you, they desperately need resources today. That’s why I’m continuing to lead the effort in Congress to also pass emergency funding legislation, as it has done in previous national health emergencies.”
Senator Shaheen has been a strong opponent of a decision by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to force fishermen in New England to start paying for a costly at-sea observer to monitor catch sizes. The program, which was previously paid for by NOAA, now costs fishermen an estimated $700 per day on fishing trips. Senator Shaheen helped secure $3 million in funding for electronic monitoring technology to serve as an alternative to in-person at-sea observers, as well as language directing NOAA to find a resolution to the hardship the agency has caused and requiring the agency to work with the region on a more cost-effective monitoring program.
“Before this costly fee went into effect, Granite State fishermen could barely balance the books,” said Shaheen. “NOAA’s decision to burden fishermen with this fee is a crippling blow to a community that is already fighting for survival. This new status-quo is completely unacceptable and we need to be looking at other ways to monitor catch limits that don’t overly burden our fishermen. Electronic monitoring has the potential to provide a less-costly way forward for many of our fishermen, and I’m very pleased funding will be available for implementing these new systems.”
As concerns grow across the country about the levels of lead in drinking water and the impact on public health, Senator Shaheen helped secure an additional $25 million, a 22 percent increase, for national lead removal efforts.
Shaheen’s priorities included in the FY 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bills:
To Address the Heroin & Opioid Pandemic
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program – Funded at $384 million, an additional $8 million over last year, to fund state and local law enforcement initiatives, including prosecution and drug court programs, treatment and enforcement efforts, and prevention and education.
COPS & the Anti-Heroin Task Force Grant – COPS is funded at $215 million, an additional $3 million over last year, and the COPS Anti Heroin Task Force Grant is funded at $10 million, an additional $3 million over last year, to assist state and local law enforcement with high per capita levels of opioid and heroin use, targeting resources to support police operations on the ground. Funds would be used to conduct drug enforcement initiatives and investigations.
Drug Courts – Funded at $43 million, an additional $1 million over last year, to help states establish these dockets that prioritize treatment over incarceration.
Second Chance Act – Funded at $75 million, an additional $7 million over last year, to reduce the cycle of criminal recidivism through drug treatment and other services.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Funded at $14 million, an additional $1 million over last year, to help states establish and maintain drug monitoring programs.
Electronic At-Sea Monitoring -- $3 million is set-aside for the development and installation of this technology.
Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes – Funded at $135 million, an additional $25 million over last year, to help reduce lead exposure in homes across the country.
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