(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) issued the following statements after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced an additional $12 million in funding for New Hampshire’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic drawn from resources secured by the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation.
“This additional funding is very welcome news and can immediately be put to use providing treatment to Granite Staters who desperately need it,” said Shaheen. “Every life lost to an overdose is a tremendous tragedy and New Hampshire remains one of the states hardest hit by this crisis, which is why I’ve fought to make sure our state is prioritized in the funding process. These resources will help save lives and by continuing to work across the aisle, we can build on the progress we’ve made in this year’s budget process.”
“Turning the tide of this deadly fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic requires sustained federal resources to support those on the front lines of this crisis, and this additional $12 million to bolster treatment services in New Hampshire is an important step forward,” said Hassan. “I am encouraged that the Trump Administration heeded our calls for additional funding, but the greatest mistake anyone could make is to think that this fight is anywhere near over. We cannot let up in our efforts to combat this crisis and help save lives, and I’ll keep working across party lines to ensure that those on the front lines are receiving the federal support that they need.”
“The opioid epidemic has impacted communities across New Hampshire and we need a response that’s equal to the scope of this challenge,” said Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “That’s why we pushed to expand resources for those on the frontlines of the crisis in New Hampshire. This funding will help bolster local efforts to expand prevention, treatment, and long-term recovery. I will continue to work with our delegation and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to combat the substance misuse crisis.”
“This additional $12 million in funding for 2019 is critical for New Hampshire to continue to heighten our response to this epidemic,” said Pappas. “In order to build out the hub and spoke system and expand access to treatment, New Hampshire needs sustained federal funding. These dollars will help save lives, improve health outcomes, and support state strategies that hold great promise. I will continue to work with our delegation and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure Washington is confronting this crisis head on. Granite State families deserve no less.”
This new funding comes from resources that Senator Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate as part of a bipartisan agreement in 2018 and an increase in appropriations for State Opioid Response (SOR) program grants in FY 2019. Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate $1 billion in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus government funding legislation that was signed into law and boosted appropriations in 2019, securing $1.5 billion in government funding legislation that was signed into law in September.
The bipartisan budget agreement outlined two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than seven-fold increase in annual grant award funding provided through the SOR grant program.
Last week, Shaheen led a New Hampshire Congressional Delegation letter to the President, urging him to prioritize opioid treatment resources in his annual budget proposal, specifically citing the SOR grants, which have been instrumental for first responders and health care providers on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. The New Hampshire Congressional Delegation is prioritizing additional resources for SOR grants and other programs that assist New Hampshire in fighting the opioid epidemic in this year’s government funding process.
Kuster led efforts in the House to prioritize opioid funding in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement as the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force and pushed SAMHSA to adjust its formula to ensure that New Hampshire received a significant increase in opioid funding.