Senator Leahy Praises Governor Shumlin’s Plan To Address Opiate Addiction

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday praised Governor Peter Shumlin for his focus on the startling rates of opiate addiction in Vermont in his State of the State address.  Leahy applauded Governor Shumlin for his commitment to programs and policies to help address growing rates of addiction in Vermont.  Leahy, a former Vermont prosecutor who now chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, in recent years has hosted Judiciary Committee field hearings on drug addiction and drug-related crime in Rutland, St. Albans and Barre to explore community-based solutions in rural settings.  He is Congress’s champion of the Boys & Girls Clubs and is leading new congressional efforts to address recidivism and to reform drug-related sentencing laws. Between 2001 and 2010 Leahy secured more than $8 million for the Vermont Drug Task Force.

On the Governor’s presentation and proposals on opiate addiction in Vermont, Leahy said:  “Governor Shumlin has clearly defined the problem, he has identified why it matters to all Vermonters, and he has proposed a wide range of solutions to help solve this crisis.  I commend the Governor and the Vermont Legislature for making this a top priority for the new session.  We need all hands on deck to fight heroin and opiate addiction in Vermont, and the Governor has proposed answers that can draw strength from all parts of our community.  We know that in challenging times, Vermonters come together to find solutions, and I am proud that we are doing just that.  We must support our law enforcement officers who work hard every day to prevent drug abuse, distribution and drug-related crime, we must support community based organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Vermont, we must partner with our state courts, and we must support those in recovery.  This is a moral investment for the wellbeing of addicted Vermonters and for the safety of our communities, and it is a smart investment in our future.”

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