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Pending federal budget deal includes $142M for states like NH with most dope deaths

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 21. 2018 10:47PM

The pending federal budget deal contains $3.3 billion in additional grants to fight the opioid epidemic — $142 million of which would go to states such as New Hampshire with the highest mortality rates from drug overdoses, according to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The Trump administration will determine the precise amount of money states will receive, Shaheen, D-NH, said Wednesday.

Shaheen is the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which approves federal spending bills for many of the agencies that would spend these dollars.

“To ensure that states with the highest mortality rates receive a fairer share of these resources, this legislation sets aside funding that the Trump administration can deliver to areas of the country where it’s most desperately needed,” Shaheen said in a statement.

“As this funding becomes available, I’ll be urging President Trump to follow through on his promise and finally prioritize aid for states like New Hampshire that are reeling from this crisis. For too long, New Hampshire’s health care providers, first responders and recovery centers have had to make do as they combat a crisis that is killing hundreds of Granite Staters every year.”

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu said after speaking privately with President Trump about the opioid crisis that he was confident New Hampshire will be receiving more federal support. “I am very confident that they will change the formula and give more credit to states like New Hampshire,” Sununu told reporters. The first-term Republican governor said he was glad Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, a Democrat, joined him on the motorcade ride from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, where the pair made the case to deliver more federal aid to New Hampshire.

“The message was bipartisan and that’s important,” Sununu said. Along with Shaheen, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, has been pushing the Trump administration to commit $25 billion to fight the epidemic. “I will work with Senator Shaheen and the entire delegation to ensure that the Trump administration provides New Hampshire with a fair share of the funds for states that have been hardest-hit by the opioid crisis, and that this funding gets out the door as soon as possible,” Hassan said in a statement.

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