Local Lawmaker’s Bill Would Restore Funding Cut For Opioid Recovery

A local lawmaker has introduced a bill that would restore funding to help people recovering from opioid addiction.

It’s part of a larger bi-partisan plan to restore funding to 24 programs vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Legislature set aside $600,000 to form a grant program to help community organizations establish or expand support services for people seeking long-term recovery from substance use disorders. The program was eliminated by one of the 147 line-item vetoes issued by the governor last week. Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township said it was a mistake for the governor to strike the program because it was funded with part of a $28 (m) million federal grant that must be used for the state’s opioid response. Bollin’s House Bill 5072 would restore the $600,000 the Legislature originally allocated to the program. Bollin said it makes no sense to cut the service. She says “Not only is it funded with a grant that can’t be used for anything else, but it’s also going to help fight the opioid epidemic that has hurt so many families in Livingston County and all across our state.” The plan has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Meanwhile, a new budget bill backed by the governor would partially or fully undo some of the funding vetoes she issued. The supplemental spending legislation introduced Thursday would also fund a number of her priorities, such as covering tuition for adults age 25 and older to attend community college to obtain job skills. The bill would restore funding for an autism program, county veteran services, sheriff road patrols and an increased Medicaid reimbursement rate for rural hospitals. Democratic Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. of East Lansing referred to his bill as an “olive branch” and attempt to start “real” budget conversations with Republicans who control the Legislature. (JM)

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