**Shaheen’s Priorities to Direct Funding to Hardest Hit States, Extend Drug Monitoring Program, and Support Peer Support Networks, Progresses in Unanimous Bipartisan Vote**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously, legislation addressing the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic. The legislation includes Shaheen priorities to assist New Hampshire, including enabling the Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize funding for states like New Hampshire that are hardest hit and extending authorization of the prescription drug monitoring program. Today’s markup included legislation Senator Shaheen recently introduced with Senator Collins (R-ME) to authorize $25 million to foster the creation of communities of recovery and provide them with the resources and training they need to help combat the opioid crisis.
“I’m pleased to see progress on this bipartisan legislation with key priorities I’ve fought to include to help New Hampshire battle this crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “By enabling HHS to prioritize funding for New Hampshire and other states that are hardest hit, and extending the authorization of the prescription drug monitoring program, this legislation will provide significant support and resources to those on the front lines of this epidemic. I’m glad to see the committee also included my bipartisan legislation to authorize funding for peer-based support networks as well, which are effective at developing an understanding and motivation for those in need. We must continue to work across the aisle to deliver for our communities in response to this deadly crisis and save lives.”
The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 will improve the ability of the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to address the crisis, including the ripple effects of the crisis on children, families, and communities, and improve data sharing between states. The legislation is the result of months of hearings as well as input and language from Senators on both sides of the aisle.
Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, has led efforts in Congress to respond to the opioid crisis. As a result of her advocacy on the bipartisan Common Sense Caucus and her engagement during the writing of the funding bill that was recently signed into law, Senator Shaheen helped secure the $3.3 billion in additional resources. This funding will go towards a number of key programs through the Department of Health and Human Services for treatment and prevention, the Department of Justice for law enforcement and grant resources, and other federal agencies to help communities impacted by the opioid epidemic. Senator Shaheen has also introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Hassan that would change how federal agencies determine State Targeted Response Opioid Crisis Grant funding to prioritize states with the highest mortality rates.