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Politics

Sen. King Hopes Senate Will Consider Drug Bill In September

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Jacquelyn Martin
/
AP Photo

The House passed an omnibus drug bill in June that includes a number of measures aimed at responding to the nation’s growing drug crisis. Independent U.S. Senator Angus King, who has been holding forums around the state on the drug problem, is hoping the Senate will consider the bill this month.

“To set next to a deputy sheriff who has lost his daughter to this…I mean this is, this is hitting Maine people all over the place, particularly in the rural areas,” King says.

The House bill funds a range of drug treatment measures, including one that would continue Medicaid coverage for juveniles who are incarcerated. It would also expand treatment options and make the prescribing of addictive pain medications more difficult.

“The big missing piece for me is prevention,” says King. “Every time I go to one of these things I ask people ‘what are your ideas for prevention?’ because no one has figured that out. Treatment is expensive. The loss of people working in our economy is a real drain on our economy.”

King says he hopes that Senate leadership will schedule the bill for consideration this month.