Legislative Leaders and Governor LePage Spar over Approach to Opioid Crisis

Created on: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Legislature is scheduled to convene for its Second Regular Session on January 8.  At the Legislative Council meeting this past Thursday, among the forty nine bills approved for consideration during the session were the six following bills dealing directly with the opioid/heroin problem in the state.   

L.R. 2363 - An Act to Reduce the Trafficking of Illegal Drugs in the State - Senator David Burns

L.R. 2284 - An Act to Increase Sentences Imposed for Interstate Trafficking of Illegal drugs - Senator Scott Cyrway

L.R. 2385 - An Act to Establish the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program in Maine - Rep. Mark Dion

L.R. 2501 - An Act to Support Maine People in Recovery - Rep. Joyce Maker

L.R. 2502 - An Act to Coordinate Education and Prevention Efforts in Our Schools to Stop Harmful Drug Use - Rep. McCabe

L.R. 2407 - An Act To Increase Access to Opiate Addiction Treatment in Maine - Senator David Woodsome

(L.R. numbers are utilized during the drafting phase and should not be confused with L.D. numbers which are assigned later)

It is not clear at this point whether the legislative leadership is considering these bills, along with the Governor's request for more DEA agents, to be the comprehensive approach they prefer or whether additional bills will be considered.   The three Task Forces established by the U.S. Attorney for Maine, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Safety (representing the Governor) continue to meet regularly (see related article elsewhere in this Update) but will have to accelerate if they are to have a comprehensive set of recommendations by January.

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