Bipartisan Legislative Agenda Sets Sights on Heroin

Democratic and Republican leaders from the Senate and the House announced a package of nine bills that will form the core of their legislative agenda for the session. Bills aimed at tackling heroin top the agenda. As reported in The Daily Record:

Three bills would create new or codify existing commissions and task forces.

The biggest of these is an Opioid Use Disorder Consortium that will study and make recommendations for a statewide strategy to battle a growing heroin problem in the state.

“There is a heroin epidemic and it’s time that we act on it and we can’t act upon it any quicker that right now,” said Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier, D-Baltimore County.

Klausmeier said the legislation is modeled after a similar effort in Colorado and will include state health officials, law enforcement, state’s attorneys and others.

“We are going to get a plan just as they did in Colorado and see if we can’t wipe out and stamp out the heroin addictions,” Klausmeier.

A companion bill would require insurance companies to cover pain medications that are less susceptible to abuse.

Additional bills would create a Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council; give more leeway to releasing older offenders who are inform and no pose longer a threat; and subject drunk drivers who cause injury or death to civil penalties.

For more information read the full article in The Daily Record (paywall restricted).