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Senate Democrats support RESCUE act for opioid relief funding

CONCORD - The opioid epidemic is an emergency in the Granite State. In 2017 there have been 483 opioid related deaths in New Hampshire. Almost everyone in New Hampshire knows someone whose life has been impacted by opioid addiction. Addiction is destroying New Hampshire lives and family, and something must be done to hold back the steadily increasing tide of addiction.

Throughout the continuing epidemic the Senate has grappled with ways to address the problem, unfortunately the Senate Republicans missed their chance to save New Hampshire twice with CACR 21 and again with SB 542.

In December the New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus announced legislation called the RESCUE (Responding Effectively to a Severe Crisis Using Emergency funds) Act, aimed at aggressively ramping up the fight on opioids in the state. The bill would allow the governor or legislature to dedicate 10% of the Rainy Day Fund, approximately $10 million in additional resources, to combat the opioid crisis. RESCUE would have provided more-than-triple the investment in the opioid fight as compared to the revenue the state receives from the alcohol fund. The bill would more than make up for the Republican governor and legislature’s failure to fully fund the alcohol fund.

“I’ve seen first hand how the opioid crisis can devastate a family and a community. New Hampshire is tired of their government paying lip service to the fight only to see them support gutting the alcohol fund and creating uncertainty about the continuation of Medicaid Expansion as substance use disorder centers close. It’s high time we give communities the resources to confront this problem.”

-Sen. Donna Soucy SD-18

The opioid crisis is the rainy day that New Hampshire is financially prepared for, we are in crisis, this is an emergency, but the Senate Republicans voted to deny this available funding to programs and people who are struggling to survive in the New Hampshire opioid crisis.

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