SHAHEEN LAUDS PROGRESS TO INCLUDE FUNDING TO FIGHT OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN 21st CENTURY CURES LEGISLATION

November 25, 2016

**Shaheen: “This is very promising”**

 **Shaheen has been the leader in Congress in fighting for funding for the opioid crisis and called for this increase in a letter to congressional leadership**


(Washington, DC) – Following the release of bipartisan legislation to fund medical research, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) lauded the progress to include funding to fight the opioid epidemic. The 21st Century Cures Act is expected to be voted-on in the House and the Senate during the lame duck session and would provide a total of $1 billion for programs that help states like New Hampshire battle the opioid epidemic. Of the $1 billion, $500 million would be immediately available and the remaining $500 million would be dispersed in the 2018 fiscal year. 

“This is very promising,” said Senator Shaheen. “This time last year, I introduced legislation that would immediately disperse emergency funds to law enforcement and providers on the frontlines focused on treatment and recovery; now, finally, Congress appears to be moving forward. I am very encouraged by the ongoing bipartisan negotiations and look forward to working with my colleagues on the final legislation. This funding can’t come soon enough as New Hampshire will likely see another tragic increase in opioid-related deaths this year. If this bill becomes law, I'll urge the Department of Health & Human Services to release this funding to states as quickly as possible and ensure grants are administered effectively. Those on the frontlines have waited long enough for Congress to take this epidemic seriously.”

In a letter to Senate leadership on Tuesday, Senator Shaheen (D-NH) called for funding to be included in the 21st Century Cures Act, citing bipartisan support for her immediate funding legislation and a lack of funding for the recently enacted Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The letter, also signed by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), states: 

“Our law enforcement, health care system, families, and states simply cannot tackle the problem alone and without necessary resources. As the end of the year fast approaches, it is past time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to provide emergency funding and increase investments in prevention and treatment services for opioid use, misuse, and use disorders. Until we do, our job is not done and our communities will continue to hurt. We urge you to act immediately to ensure that Congress fulfills its commitment to the American people by providing adequate resources to help quell this epidemic in the 21st Century Cures Act. We stand ready and look forward to working with you to swiftly achieve this goal.”

Senator Shaheen’s emergency funding legislation would provide immediate supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to states through programs administered by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that focus on treatment and recovery, as well as state and local law enforcement initiatives. Shaheen was a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and has repeatedly called on the Republican-led congress to fund CARA.