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Esty, Courtney to Serve on Conference Committee to Negotiate Opioid Addiction Bill

May 17, 2016
Press Release
Connecticut Lawmakers Are Among 14 House Democrats Picked to Develop Legislation to Combat Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2) were appointed today by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the conference committee charged with crafting legislation to address the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic.

Last week, the House passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a bill combining several different initiatives to help prevent and treat addiction to heroin and prescription drugs. The Senate passed its own version of that legislation on March 10. The conference committee to which Esty and Courtney were appointed today will be charged with combining the House and Senate bills into a single piece of legislation that can be sent to the President and signed into law.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to craft meaningful, bipartisan legislation to help the families facing this crisis, which has destroyed so many lives in Connecticut and across the country,” Esty said. “I will use my role on the conference committee to champion bipartisan solutions to help folks avoid becoming addicted to drugs in the first place. And I will push the committee to include funding in the bill that will provide our cities and towns with the resources they need to fight this epidemic and save lives.”

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft legislation to address the growing prescription opioid and heroin epidemic gripping our country,” Courtney said. “I remain disappointed that the bills put forward by Senate and House leadership did not provide any new funding to address the growing drug abuse epidemic, but I am encouraged that the measure does include many well intentioned bipartisan initiatives to address this crisis. I will press my colleagues on the committee to include a provision similar to my bill that would provide emergency funding to stem the growing public health crisis brought about by drug abuse.”

Esty and Courtney both serve on the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic.