FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017
Wilson Demands Trump, Hatch and Utah Officials Move from Talk to Action on Opioid Crisis
All Areas in Utah Suffering; Treatment and Enforcement Funding Needed Now
SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Salt Lake County Council member, fifth-generation Utahn, and candidate for U.S. Senate Jenny Wilson charged that both President Trump and Senator Orrin Hatch continue to stall on the opioid crisis.
“Every community in Utah is suffering,” Wilson said. “The time for talk is over. Where is their plan? Where is the funding? The President’s talk and Senator Hatch’s talk is not what we need. We need a plan and we need funding now.”
Wilson referred to the Iron County Sheriff’s plea for federal funding in pointing out that every community in Utah needs Washington to act immediately. She also pointed out that that President Trump and Congress are passing the buck to each other when it comes to funding. The President’s opioid commission wants to “force Congress to focus on funding,” while Hatch’s response to the President’s statement was, “I am hopeful that the President’s action will provide the necessary resources.”
Senator Hatch has repeatedly failed to act in addressing the opioid crisis.
– Hatch repeatedly voted for Senate health care plans that would have cut funding for addiction treatment programs under Medicaid.
– Hatch called Medicaid “already unsustainable” and did not support expanding Medicaid in Utah.
– Hatch took a back seat to his colleagues like Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Shelley Moore
Capito (R-WV) on protecting funding to address the opioid crisis.
Wilson, who serves on the Utah Attorney General’s Opioid Task Force, has been a strong supporter of prioritizing funding and expanding treatment. Recently she voted in favor of expanding jail beds in Salt Lake County so that dealers can be put behind bars and victims can be taken to treatment.
“These are our friends, neighbors, and family members who are affected by this crisis and it is getting worse, not better. That’s why I will continue to lead where Washington has failed by prioritizing funding during the upcoming County budget sessions,” said Wilson. “A broken federal government is leaving us to pick up the pieces locally,” said Wilson. She also pointed out that over $1 billion in federal dollars of Utah have been sent to other states because Utah leaders refused to expand Medicaid and noted that “we are double taxing our residents when we have to find funding locally for this epidemic rather than taking the Medicaid dollars that belong to the taxpayers of our state.”