Thursday, January 25, 2018

Democratic Leaders Respond to Passage of Opioid Epidemic Act


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 25, 2018

PHOENIX, State Capitol – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs (D-24) and House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios (D-27) released this statement on the passage of the bipartisan Opioid Epidemic Act today

Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs (LD24):

"With this legislation, Arizona has taken a thoughtful and substantial first step in addressing the opioid epidemic that has claimed too many lives," said Senator Hobbs. "It is our aim that the measures passed today will show immediate results in stemming the illicit flow of prescription drugs, providing treatment for those who are addicted and preventing more Arizonans from becoming addicted in the first place.

This bill could not have come about had stakeholders and lawmakers not been involved early in the development process. This noble example of how government can and should work is something we should strive for more often at the State Capitol.

To those in the majority and to Governor Ducey, we urge you to have the political courage moving forward to include every lawmaker in legislative and budgetary talks as you did with the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Arizonans will be better served and our state will be a better place for it, as it will be with this critical and carefully considered legislation."


House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios (LD27):

"We tackle some very important issues in this body, but only rarely can we say that a policy we debate will save lives. This plan will save lives. We cannot not let one more day go by while opioid addiction continues to hurt people the communities and neighborhoods we represent.
I'm incredibly proud that Democrats played such a crucial role in shaping this plan. Because Democrats fought for it, there is real funding in this bill -- $10 million to help those battling addiction who aren’t on AHCCCS or who are underinsured. Democrats have pressed for a Good Samaritan law for the past four years, so we are thrilled to see it as a vital component of this plan. We pushed to make sure those people who treated for opioid overdoses get a real second chance with a referral to behavioral health services before being discharged from the hospital.  And we pushed to expand the Angel Initiative statewide.
We have many more big issues to tackle – education, the budget, healthcare, infrastructure. We must continue to work together on these issues as well and move our state forward."

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Media Contact: Aaron Latham, Arizona State Senate Democratic Caucus, 602-926-4477, alatham@azleg.gov
Robbie Sherwood, Arizona State House Democratic Caucus, 480-246-7944, rsherwood@azleg.gov

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