Campaign Updates

June 8, 2016 Press Release

MEMO: Ayotte Special-Interest Backers’ Ad Widely Condemned as “Reprehensible” and “Disgusting,” While Governor Hassan’s Aggressive Action on Opioid Crisis Continues with “Leadership” and “Sincerity”

From: Marc Goldberg, Maggie for NH Campaign Manager
To: Interested Parties
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Subject: Ayotte’s Special-Interest Backers’ Ad Widely Condemned as “Reprehensible” and “Disgusting,” While Governor Hassan’s Aggressive Action on Opioid Crisis Continues with “Leadership” and “Sincerity”

Kelly Ayotte’s party leaders and corporate special interest allies have launched a misleading attack ad politicizing the heroin and opioid crisis that has been called “reprehensible,” “disgusting,” and “exactly what is wrong with politics” by fire fighters, law enforcement, advocates and elected officials across New Hampshire.

Yet even as “a chorus of critics” called for the ad to be taken down, Ayotte’s corporate special interest backers continue to run the appalling ad, because they are willing to do anything to to protect their investment and send Kelly Ayotte back to the U.S. Senate.

Here’s what’s been said about the ad:

  • Fire Fighters and Paramedics called the ad “completely false and disgusting”
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen said “it’s outrageous for an out-of-state group to mislead voters and try to politicize an epidemic that is devastating so many Granite State families.”
  • And the Nashua Telegraph has called out similar attacks as “a political hack job,” “despicable,” and “drivel.”

Here’s what the False Special Interest Attacks Aren’t Telling You About Governor Maggie Hassan’s Bipartisan Leadership on Fighting the Heroin and Opioid Crisis:

  • Governor Hassan has worked with those on the front line of the crisis – police officers, fire fighters and paramedics – to expand access to Narcan to save lives. She has helped crack down on fentanyl and worked to address the over-prescribing of opioids. And she’s expanded health care coverage – including for substance abuse treatment – to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters.
  • Now, Governor Hassan is working with legislators of both parties to expand drug courts, provide more resources to law enforcement, and get $5 million more in state funding for treatment, prevention, intervention and recovery programs into hard-hit New Hampshire communities.
  • As Fosters’ Daily Democrat wrote in an editorial, Governor Hassan has “shown her leadership and sincerity in the fight against the opiate epidemic.”

The Bottom Line

Kelly Ayotte’s corporate special interest allies will stop at nothing to protect their investment and send Kelly Ayotte back to the U.S. Senate, while Governor Maggie Hassan is working with those on the front lines, and with members of both parties, to stem the tide of the heroin and opioid epidemic.

BACKGROUND

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE AD:

As NH1 reported: “A new television commercial by a pro-GOP outside group backing Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s re-election that criticizes Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan’s efforts in battling New Hampshire’s heroin and opioid epidemic was targeted by a chorus of critics calling for the spot to be taken off TV.”

As WMUR reported: “…a new ad by a third party group focusing on New Hampshire’s drug crisis is being criticized tonight.”

President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire David Lang: “The heroin crisis New Hampshire is facing is affecting real New Hampshire families; mothers, fathers, songs, and daughters. Firefighters and paramedics, our members are on the front lines of this emergency and Governor Hassan has always been there right beside us. Governor Hassan has been a strong leader in combating the heroin and opioid epidemic since she entered office, pushing for a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach including increasing the availability of Narcan, pushing for more substance abuse treatment options and working to address the over-prescribing of opioids that can lead to addiction,” Lang continued. Ads such as these distort and use this crisis for political purposes. This hurts the very New Hampshire families that are dealing with this terrible disease. The members of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire are witnessing firsthand the devastating affects this emergency is causing these people. We need to continue to focus on solutions. This is not a partisan political issue, but a “People Issue.” Completely false and disgusting ads such as these harm these affected families and it is wrong. We call on Senator Ayotte to stand with the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of this state on behalf of these affected New Hampshire people and demand One Nation America take down this ad.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen: “The opioid epidemic is killing a person a day in New Hampshire and this crisis demands bipartisan cooperation in Washington and Concord, and that’s been exactly Governor Hassan’s approach. The Governor has led efforts to expand prevention, treatment and recovery efforts and increase funding to fight the crisis. It’s outrageous for an out-of-state group to mislead voters and try to politicize an epidemic that is devastating so many Granite State families. New Hampshire deserves better than this.”

Former U.S. Attorney John Kacavas: “As a former prosecutor, I know firsthand the importance of taking on addiction, and I know that Governor Maggie Hassan is fighting tirelessly to stem the deadly tide of this crisis. She understands that working to solve this complex problem requires a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach, and I thank her for her dedicated efforts to save lives from the scourge of opioid addiction.”

Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera: “Those of us in law enforcement know that Governor Hassan is listening to and working with us on the ground level to fight the opioid epidemic from all sides. For this ad to say otherwise is misleading and is insulting to the hard work that many across our state put in day in and day out to save lives and reverse this deadly epidemic. I commend Governor Hassan for her hard work and commitment to fight this crisis.”

Leading Advocate for NH Drug Courts Ed Rajsteter: “There are some issues that should be above politics, and combatting our state’s substance abuse crisis is at the top of that list. That’s why I was disgusted to see such a vile smear politicizing this issue. From my work with New Hampshire drug courts, I’ve seen firsthand that Governor Hassan has been a dedicated and effective leader working to expand drug courts and reverse the wave of addiction that has swept across our state. I urge the dark-money organization behind this reprehensible attack to take it off the air immediately.”

Strafford County Sheriff David Dubois: “As a sheriff on the front lines of the heroin and opioid crisis, I see each day the devastating impact this epidemic is having on our communities and our state. Governor Maggie Hassan has consistently partnered with law enforcement to combat this crisis and has focused on a comprehensive response to support prevention, enforcement, and recovery, including signing legislation to expand existing drug courts and establish new ones across our state. This type of ad is exactly what is wrong with politics, and it is the last thing we need in our efforts to solve this crisis.”

Amber’s Place Founder Kriss Blevens: “As someone who lost a beloved family member to opioid addiction I am the first to say that we must ALL work together to find the right solution. Through my efforts founding Amber’s Place, I have seen vividly that what lies behind this opiate epidemic is a raging and ravaging disease called addiction. Feeding this disease are sick souls capitalizing on the sale of drugs that precipitate the progression of the illness. As a state we are on the cusp of turning tides, we have become aware of the severity of the problem thanks to advocates, we are being educated about the disease from those who have survived it and those who are successfully treating it, and now our leaders including Governor Maggie Hassan, are stepping up to the plate with prudence to implement a plan of action and healing. New Hampshire is in a serious drug crisis just as the rest of the nation is, political party matters little when we speak about saving lives. If all eyes are on New Hampshire, then let it be that we shall be victorious in pouring forth an innovative and collaborative solution for all. I urge the dark money political organization behind this message to remove it from the airwaves immediately, and to fund the solution with positivity and light.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn: “I’m absolutely disgusted that Kelly Ayotte’s Washington special interest backers would stoop so low as to politicize the heroin and opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across the Granite State. Governor Hassan has been a strong leader out in front on this crisis; she called for a special session to address this pressing public health and safety issue, has fought for additional resources for prevention, treatment and recovery, and has brought people from across the political spectrum together to find solutions and save lives. Ayotte and Republicans across the Granite State should be appalled that their dark-money, special interest supporters would launch such a misleading and offensive campaign and should call on them to take this reprehensible attack off of the airwaves immediately.”

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff: “Even for Kelly Ayotte’s special interest backers, this disgusting ad represents a new low. Ayotte and her special-interest backers should take this misleading spot off of TV at once and apologize to the people of New Hampshire for politicizing the heroin and opioid crisis — a devastating epidemic that’s ravaging our communities. Governor Hassan has been a strong leader and advocate in combating this crisis and it’s unfortunate that Republicans in Concord have been dragging their feet at every turn. I call on Ayotte and Republicans across the state to put politics aside and join Governor Hassan in working collaboratively to find solutions to reverse the deadly tide of addiction in our state.”

HERE ARE THE FACTS ON THE GOVERNOR’S RECORD:

HASSAN HAS BEEN A LEADER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE HEROIN AND OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Foster’s Daily Democrat Editorial: Hassan “Has…Shown Her Leadership And Sincerity In The Fight Against The Opioid Epidemic.” “The bill would then go to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has already shown her leadership and sincerity in the fight against the opiate epidemic.” [Editorial, Foster’s Daily Democrat, 5/8/16]

Valley News Editorial: “Hassan Has Been Emphasizing A Multifaceted Approach To Combating The Addiction Crisis, Focusing On Prevention, Treatment And Recovery.” The Valley News wrote in an editorial, “At the state level, Gov. Maggie Hassan has been emphasizing a multifaceted approach to combating the addiction crisis, focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery. By now, just about everybody has come to the conclusion that while law enforcement must be a component of any overall solution, it cannot be the linchpin.” [Editorial, Valley News, 10/6/15]

Nashua Telegraph: “Republicans Did Echo Hassan’s Bipartisan Commitment Regarding The Expedited Legislation Geared Toward Reducing Heroin And Opioid Abuse.” “Republicans did echo Hassan’s bipartisan commitment regarding the expedited legislation geared toward reducing heroin and opioid abuse.” [Nashua Telegraph, 2/5/16]

WMUR: “Hassan Is Pushing For Quick Passage Of Several Other Proposals To Combat The Crisis.” “Outside of Medicaid expansion, Hassan is pushing quick passage of several other proposals to combat the crisis. Senate bill 464 calls for a $3.2 million measure to establish a statewide drug court. Senate bill 533 would provide $5 million for the governor’s commission on alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Another bill, SB-485, would provide nearly $2 million in grants for local law enforcement agencies like Manchester.” [WMUR, 3/7/16]

  • WMUR Video: “Outside Of Medicaid Expansion, Governor Hassan Is Also Pushing For Quick Passage Of Several Other Proposals To Combat The Crisis, Senate Bill 464, A $3.2 Million Dollar Measure To Establish A Statewide Drug Court, Senate Bill 533 Would Provide $5 Million For The Governor’s Commission On Alcohol And And Drug Abuse Prevention And Another Bill Would Provide Nearly $2 Million Dollars In Grants For Local Law Enforcement Agencies Like Manchester.” [WMUR, Youtube, 3/7/16]
  • WMUR Video On Screen: “BILLS TO COMBAT DRUG CRISIS; GOVERNOR HASSAN PUSHING QUICK PASSAGE.” [WMUR, Youtube, 3/7/16]

Hassan: “We All Know That The Heroin And Opioid Crisis Remains The Most Pressing Public Health And Public Safety Issue Facing Our State.” “Thanks to our remarkable public safety officials, we are one of the safest states in the nation. But we all know that the heroin and opioid crisis remains the most pressing public health and public safety issue facing our state.” [WMUR, Youtube, 2/4/16]

Headline: Hassan Signs Fast-Tracked Opioid Bills Into Law. [NHPR, 1/21/16]

Headline: Gov. Maggie Hassan Signs 2 Bills To Combat Substance Abuse. [WMUR, 1/21/16]

Headline: Gov. Hassan Seeks Special Session To Combat Heroin Crisis. [Union Leader, 11/3/15]

WMUR Video: “Governor Hassan Wants Changes Made And She Wants Them Now…Changes That Include Money For Statewide Drug Courts, Changes To Make The Illegal Sale Of The Pain Killer Fentanyl The Same Crime As Heroin…” [Youtube, 11/3/15]

New Futures’ Linda Sanders Paquette: Hassan’s Proposed Budget Compromise Is Clearly Better For Both Sides Than The Alternative. In a Union Leader op-ed, New Futures’ Linda Sanders Paquette wrote, “When it comes to combating New Hampshire’s growing substance abuse epidemic, Hassan’s proposed budget compromise is clearly better for both sides than the alternative, or in this case, alternatives. In her compromise budget proposal, Hassan increases funding for substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery by $5.9 million over the amount agreed to in the Republican passed budget.” [Paquette, Union Leader, 7/27/15]

GOVERNOR HASSAN HAS WORKED TO COMBAT THE HEROIN AND OPIOID CRISIS BY INCREASING THE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE USE OF NARCAN

IN APRIL 2014, HASSAN ANNOUNCED THAT EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS WERE ALLOWED TO GIVE OVERDOSE VICTIMS NARCAN

April 2014: Hassan Announced Emergency Medical Technicians Were Allowed To Give Overdose Victims Narcan A Drug That Halts Overdose Symptoms, Almost Instantly Revives Addicts Who May Otherwise Die. In April 2014, the Nashua Telegraph reported that “State health officials have expanded the number of emergency providers allowed to administer a drug to treat overdoses in the face of skyrocketing levels of heroin addiction and deaths in New Hampshire. Gov. Maggie Hassan announced Friday that the state’s Medical Control Board approved a measure to allow emergency medical technicians to give overdose victims Narcan, a “narcotic antagonist,” which halts overdose symptoms, almost instantly reviving addicts who may otherwise die. The move comes a day after the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved the use of an auto-injector for the drug. ‘The rising rates of heroin abuse and overdoses represent one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing New Hampshire, and this critical decision will enhance our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of our communities,’ Hassan said in a statement.” [Nashua Telegraph, 4/5/14]

The Expansion Of The Responders Who Can Administer Narcan “Grew Out Of Conversations By A Working Group Of Health And Safety Officials Hassan Assembled.” In April 2014, the Nashua Telegraph reported that “The state Medical Control Board’s expansion of the responders who can use the drug grew out of conversations by a working group of health and safety officials Hassan assembled to address the state’s rising rates of opiate addiction. The board will now allow emergency medical technicians and emergency medical responders – two of the four types of EMS licenses – to administer the drug. Heroin overdoses and deaths have been in the headlines often in 2014, including a spate of three overdoses, one of which was fatal, in a 24-hour period in Portsmouth in February.” [Nashua Telegraph, 4/5/14]

Dave Lang, Head Of The Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire, Praised Hassan For Her Leadership In Pushing For More EMTs And Emergency Medical First Responders To Be Able To Administer Narcan. “David Lang, head of the statewide firefighters union…also noted that the state Medical Control Board is poised to authorize an additional 2,500 licensed emergency medical first responders and basic emergency medical technicians to administer Narcan. He credits Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan for her ‘leadership’ in making this possible. ‘That is an increase of over 231 percent availability to address this problem,’ Lang said.” [Portsmouth Herald, 5/6/14]

HASSAN AGAIN LED THE FIGHT TO EXPAND THE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE USE OF NARCAN BY PUSHING FOR RULES TO ALLOW POLICE OFFICERS TO CARRY AND ADMINISTER THE DRUG

Headline: Hassan Proposed Naloxone Training For Police. [Eagle Tribune, 1/15/15]

Nashua Telegraph: It Was The Task Force Put Together By Hassan That Recommended Letting Police Officers Administer Narcan.  In January 2015, theNashua Telegraph editorial board wrote: “Overdoses in 2014 took the life of a New Hampshire resident every two days, according to a November report by the task force Hassan put together to examine the state’s opioid crisis. It was the task force that recommended letting police officers administer Narcan.” [Editorial, Nashua Telegraph, 1/20/15]

Nashua Telegraph Praised Hassan For “Thankfully” Proposing Rules To Allow Police Officers To Administer Narcan, Agreed It Was A “Common-Sense Step Forward” That “Will Help…Saves Lives.”  In January 2015, the Nashua Telegraph editorial board wrote: “They’re called first responders for a reason. When dispatchers in many communities receive a call about a heroin overdose, police officers who happen to be patrolling the area are often the first to arrive on a scene. Emergency medical technicians may arrive by ambulance just a few minutes later, but those minutes matter… Thankfully, that may be about to change. Gov. Maggie Hassan has proposed that the Legislative Rules Committee allow police officers to be trained to administer the drug, too, since they’re often the first ones to reach overdose patients. Hassan called the expansion ‘a common-sense step forward that will help us save lives,’ and she’s right, but that’s not the end of it.” [Editorial,Nashua Telegraph, 1/20/15]

March 2015: Rules To Allow Police To Carry And Administer Narcan Were Approved. In March 2015, the Newburyport Daily News reported that “New Hampshire police can now carry a potentially lifesaving drug, but some police officials aren’t too enthusiastic about the idea. The N.H. Department of Safety approved rules yesterday to allow police to carry Narcan, a drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. The new rules allow police officers to obtain a license to carry Narcan, commonly used as a nasal spray…Gov. Maggie Hassan and DOS commissioner John Barthelmes introduced a draft set of rules in January. The goal was to get Narcan in the hands of more people to save lives.” [Newburyport Daily News, 3/27/15]

Headline: Police Can Now Give Life-Saving Drug To Overdose Victims. [Union Leader, 3/27/15]

CRACKING DOWN ON FENTANYL

HASSAN PROPOSED AND THEN SIGNED A BIPARTISAN PROVISION TO CRACK DOWN ON THE ILLEGAL SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF FENTANYL

November 2015 WMUR Video: “Governor Hassan Wants Changes Made And She Wants Them Now…Changes That Include Money For Statewide Drug Courts, Changes To Make The Illegal Sale Of The Pain Killer Fentanyl The Same Crime As Heroin…” [Youtube, 11/3/15]

Hassan Proposed Using Special Session To Pass Law to Make Penalties For Illegal Fentanyl Distribution The Same As Heroin. In November 2015, the Union Leader reported that “At the special session, Hassan proposes to make penalties for fentanyl distribution the same as heroin, to change rules for prescribing opioids, quicker insurance approval for treatment programs, to expand drug courts and diversion programs, to add law enforcement personnel and to strengthen the state’s new prescription monitoring program. The governor proposed spending $3.1 million to implement a statewide drug court system; $2 million for additional law enforcement personnel; $800,000 for probation and parole officers in hard-hit communities; $100,000 to upgrade the prescription drug monitoring program technology; $135,000 to add an attorney to focus on opioid-related crimes and issues, and $5 million for the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery to support community-based treatment, prevention and recovery efforts.” [Union Leader, 11/4/15]

WMUR Headline: Gov. Maggie Hassan Signs 2 Bills To Combat Substance Abuse. [WMUR, 1/21/16]

  • WMUR Subheadline: 1 Bill Strengthens Penalties For Dealing Fentanyl. [WMUR, 1/21/16]
  • Bill Signed By Hassan In January 2016 Strengthened The Penalties For Dealing Fentanyl. “Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law two bills aimed at stemming New Hampshire’s substance abuse crisis. One omnibus bill strengthens the penalties for dealing fentanyl, a drug 40 times more powerful than heroin.” [WMUR, 1/21/16]

WORKED TO ADDRESS THE OVERPRESCRIBING OF OPIOIDS THAT CAN LEAD TO ADDICTION

HASSAN SIGNED BILL TO HELP CURB THE SUPPLY OF ILLICIT OPIOIDS BY REQUIRING BOARDS GOVERNING OPIOID PRESCRIBERS TO TIGHTEN THEIR RULES, USE THE STATE’S PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM

Hassan Signed Bill To Require Boards Governing Opioid Prescribers To Tighten Their Rules. “Two bills lawmakers believe will help curb the supply of illicit opioids and combat the state’s drug crisis were signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Maggie Hassan. One bill requires boards governing opioid prescribers to tighten their rules, and the other allows pharmacies to establish drug take-back programs…House Bill 1423 which goes into effect in September, mandates prescribers use the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and requires boards to have new standards for assessing the need for opioids, the risk for abuse and educating patients.” [Union Leader, 6/7/16]

Bill Signed By Hasan Requires Boards To “Have New Standards Assessing The Need For Opioids, The Risk For Abuse And Educating Patients,” And Mandates Prescribers Use The State’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program “Two bills lawmakers believe will help curb the supply of illicit opioids and combat the state’s drug crisis were signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Maggie Hassan. One bill requires boards governing opioid prescribers to tighten their rules, and the other allows pharmacies to establish drug take-back programs….House Bill 1423 which goes into effect in September, mandates prescribers use the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and requires boards to have new standards for assessing the need for opioids, the risk for abuse and educating patients.” [Union Leader, 6/7/16]

Headline: Bills Aimed At Curbing Drug Addiction Signed Into Law. [Union Leader, 6/7/16]

EXPANDED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, INCLUDING FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, FOR 50,000 GRANITE STATERS
HASSAN EXPANDED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, INCLUDING FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, TO NEARLY 50,000 GRANITE STATERS

2016 Headline: Hassan Signs Medicaid Expansion Bill To Keep 50K Covered. [Associated Press, 4/5/16]

  • Hassan Signed Into Law Medicaid Expansion Reauthorization Bill “That Allows Nearly 50,000 New Hampshire Residents To Keep Their Health Care.” “Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a Medicaid expansion bill that allows nearly 50,000 New Hampshire residents to keep their health care for another two years.” [Associated Press, 4/5/16]
  • WMUR Video: “Currently, Nearly 50,000 New Hampshire Residents Count On The Program For Health Coverage And As The State Battles The Heroin And Opioid Crisis, The Governor Insists The Expansion Of Medicaid Will Also Expand What Some Are Calling For Most: Treatment.”[Youtube, 3/7/16]

2014 Headline: Gov. Maggie Hassan Signs Medicaid Expansion Into Law. [WMUR, 3/27/14]

  • WMUR Video: On Medicaid Expansion, Hassan “Was Able To Show That She Was A Leader, Even Though This Was A Compromise Between Republicans And Democrats.” [Youtube, 2/6/14]
  • Hassan Signed Into Law Bill To Allow New Hampshire To Expand Its Medicaid Coverage, Expand Health Coverage To Nearly 50,000 People. “New Hampshire officially expanded its Medicaid program Thursday to cover about 50,000 poor adults eligible for federal subsidies under the health care overhaul law. Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill that will inject hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds into the state’s economy.” [WMUR, 3/27/14]

Due To The Affordable Care Act, Health Plans That Are Part Of Medicaid Expansion Will Cover Treatment For Substance Abuse. “Under the federal Affordable Care Act, people, including Medicaid recipients, who buy insurance through the state’s health exchange will get plans that cover treatment for substance abuse.” [Editorial, Concord Monitor, 2/6/14]

Concord Monitor Editorial Praised Hassan’s Push To Expand Medicaid, Said it Would Make Sure That “Many More Addicts” Are “Able To Get Help,” Treatment For Substance Abuse. In February 2014, the Concord Monitor editorial board wrote: “Under the federal Affordable Care Act, people, including Medicaid recipients, who buy insurance through the state’s health exchange will get plans that cover treatment for substance abuse. That should mean that more people who seek help will get it from a growing supply of trained providers. Many more addicts would be able to get help if lawmakers accede to Gov. Maggie Hassan ’s request to expand Medicaid under the act. That would be an especially big win for the state…. Chasing drug dealers will help, but it won’t solve the problem. Treating addiction as a disease and making treatment available to all who want it, might.” [Editorial, Concord Monitor, 2/6/14]

NHPR: “Business Groups, Healthcare Providers And Substance Abuse Prevention Advocates…Have All Spoken Up About The Program’s Benefits.” “Business groups, healthcare providers and substance abuse prevention advocates, among others, have all spoken up about the program’s benefits.” [NHPR, 1/28/16]

Linda Sanders Paquette Of New Futures: Medicaid Expansion The “Most Important Tool New Hampshire Has In Its Fight Against The Opioid Epidemic.” “New Futures, a drug and alcohol prevention organization, has also been a vocal proponent. At a press conference Wednesday with other Medicaid expansion proponents, New Futures Director Linda Saunders Paquette called the program ‘the most important tool New Hampshire has in its fight against the opioid epidemic and more broadly the substance misuse crisis we are facing in our state.’” [NHPR, 1/28/16]

HASSAN IS WORKING WITH MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES TO EXPAND DRUG COURTS

HASSAN PROPOSED EXPANDING DRUG COURTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND WILL SIGN BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO DO JUST THAT

WMUR Video: “Governor Hassan Wants Changes Made And She Wants Them Now…Changes That Include Money For Statewide Drug Courts, Changes To Make The Illegal Sale Of The Pain Killer Fentanyl The Same Crime As Heroin…” [Youtube, 11/3/15]

Hassan Proposed Using Special Session To Pass Legislation Expanding Drug Courts In New Hampshire. In November 2015, the Union Leader reported that “At the special session, Hassan proposes…to expand drug courts and diversion programs. [Union Leader, 11/4/15]

The Republican-Controlled House And The Republican-Controlled Senate Both Approved Bill To Expand Drug Courts Throughout New Hampshire; Hassan Said She Would Sign The Measure. “Last Thursday the state Senate agreed with changes made by the state House to a bill expanding drug courts throughout New Hampshire. And the Senate also concurred with a House measure that would allow people addicted to heroin or opioids to receive treatment without prior authorization from insurers. Hassan told NH1 News last week that she’s “looking forward” to signing both measures.” [NH1, 5/25/16; SB 464, Bill Docket]

HASSAN IS WORKING WITH MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES TO GET $5 MILLION MORE IN FUNDING FOR TREATMENT, PREVENTION AND RECOVERY

HASSAN PROPOSED AN ADDITIONAL $5 MILLION FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PREVENTION AND RECOVERY THAT THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE PASSED AND SHE WILL SIGN INTO LAW

Hassan Proposed An Additional $5 Million In State Funding For Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention And Recovery. In November 2015, the Union Leader reported that “At the special session, Hassan proposes to make penalties for fentanyl distribution the same as heroin, to change rules for prescribing opioids, quicker insurance approval for treatment programs, to expand drug courts and diversion programs, to add law enforcement personnel and to strengthen the state’s new prescription monitoring program. The governor proposed spending $3.1 million to implement a statewide drug court system; $2 million for additional law enforcement personnel; $800,000 for probation and parole officers in hard-hit communities; $100,000 to upgrade the prescription drug monitoring program technology; $135,000 to add an attorney to focus on opioid-related crimes and issues, and $5 million for the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery to support community-based treatment, prevention and recovery efforts.” [Union Leader, 11/4/15]

The Republican-Controlled House And The Republican-Controlled Senate Approved Legislation Including $5 Million In State Funding For Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment And Recovery. “A measure that would provide $5 million in state funding for treatment, recovery and housing for those addicted to drugs is a big step closer to reaching Gov. Maggie Hassan’s desk. Wednesday a committee of state House and Senate conferees came to agreement on the bill, which will get a final vote next week in both chambers before heading to the Corner Office.” [SB 533, Docket; NH1, 5/25/16]

Hassan Is Poised To Sign The Measure. “A measure that would provide $5 million in state funding for treatment, recovery and housing for those addicted to drugs is a big step closer to reaching Gov. Maggie Hassan’s desk. Wednesday a committee of state House and Senate conferees came to agreement on the bill, which will get a final vote next week in both chambers before heading to the Corner Office. Hassan told NH1 News last week that she’s “looking forward” to signing both measures.” [NH1, 5/25/16]

HASSAN IS WORKING WITH MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES TO PROVIDE MORE RESOURCES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

IN OCT. 2015, HASSAN DIRECTED FUNDING TO COVER 1,200 HOURS OF OVERTIME FOR TROOPERS WHO WERE WORKING WITH POLICE IN MANCHESTER TO CRACK DOWN ON DRUG TRAFFICKING, AS PART OF OPERATION GRANITE HAMMER

Hassan Administration Directed Funding To Cover 1,200 Hours Of Overtime For Troopers To Work With Troopers In Manchester To Crack Down On Drug Trafficking. In October 2015, the Union Leader reported that “Gov. Maggie Hassan Thursday announced $150,000 in federal grants to the New Hampshire State Police to help in battling drug trafficking and use. The focus is on the state’s largest city, which New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster said is “the epicenter of the opiate problem. Calling the continuing sharp increase in drug use and sales ‘the most pressing health and safety issue,’ Hassan said $90,000 will cover 1,200 hours of overtime for troopers and $60,000 will cover overtime to process additional drug cases at the state laboratory. State Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes said the lab has ‘a 3,700 drug case backlog.’ He said analysis of drug case evidence shows: ‘Fifty percent have fentanyl as a component.’” [Union Leader, 10/2/15]

NOW, HASSAN IS LEADING THE FIGHT TO PASS BIPARTISAN BILL TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT COMBATING THE CRISIS

November 2015: Hassan Proposed Lawmakers Pass Plan To Tackle Opioid Crisis That Included Funding Additional Law Enforcement Personnel. “The governor proposed spending $3.1 million to implement a statewide drug court system; $2 million for additional law enforcement personnel; $800,000 for probation and parole officers in hard-hit communities; $100,000 to upgrade the prescription drug monitoring program technology; $135,000 to add an attorney to focus on opioid-related crimes and issues, and $5 million for the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery to support community-based treatment, prevention and recovery efforts.” [Union Leader, 11/4/15]

June 2016: After Hassan Called On The Legislature To Act, Lawmakers Decided To Come Back Into Session To Pass Bill Including $1.5 Million To Help Law Enforcement Officials Combat The Drug Crisis. “After meeting on Thursday, Republican leaders in the House and Senate decided to call members back to Concordin two weeks to vote again on a measure that unexpectedly failed earlier this week. The bill would add $1.5 million to help law enforcement officials combat the state’s drug problem. The program known as “Operation Granite Hammer” seeks to target low level drug-dealers as a way to pursue larger scale dealers. Earlier Thursday Gov. Maggie Hassan called on the legislature to act, saying the bill’s failure was ‘unacceptable.’” [NHPR, 6/2/16]

  • Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard Called On Legislature To Pass The Bill With $1.5 Million To Provide More Resources To Law Enforcement. “They’ll return to the Legislature, where a grant to fund the measure died Wednesday after being tied to an unrelated state retiree health care bill, Law enforcement say they need the $1.5 million grant for enhanced patrols in high drug traffic areas. ‘You don’t do it at the expense of American citizens dying every single day,’ said Manchester police Chief Nick Willard. ‘I am disgusted with that maneuver. It was political shenanigans, and it never should have happened.’” [WMUR, 6/2/16]
  • Republican Senate President Chuck Morse Said The Legislature Needs To Pass The Bill To To Provide More Resources To Law Enforcement. “An outcry from law enforcement and lawmakers spurred the announcement that state legislators will reconvene in two weeks. ‘This bill needs to pass,’ said Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem. ‘This bill will pass.’ Morse said that this time, Granite Hammer funding will stand alone, in its own bill. ‘Lawmakers are coming back the 16th of June and they’re going to vote on that issue,’ he said. ‘We’ll get it passed this time.’” [WMUR, 6/2/16]

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