Poliquin & Bipartisan Group Lead Effort on Directing Federal Opioid Funding to States Hit Hardest By Crisis, Like Maine
WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), a founding member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, is leading on bipartisan legislation—along with Congresswoman Ann Kuster (D-NH-02) and Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-WV-03)—to direct the $1 billion in federal funding allocated to combat the opioid crisis to states such as Maine that have been hit hardest by the epidemic.
The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in 2016, provided $1 billion in federal funding to states to combat the opioid epidemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) currently uses a formula to distribute the federal funding to states based largely on their population sizes, which has disproportionately benefited states with larger populations and has shortchanged smaller states like Maine.
The bipartisan Federal Opioid Response Fairness Act reforms the formula so that support is directed more fairly to states that have higher per capita rates of overdose deaths, such as Maine, and that have been hit hardest.
“Maine has tragically been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, as so many of our families and communities throughout the state have been hurt by this crisis,” said Congressman Poliquin. “We need to get support to the states and to local officials, but let’s make sure we are smart about how the funding is being distributed so states like Maine with smaller overall populations, but with higher rates of impact, are getting as much support as possible.
“The federal government has a role to play in this fight and I will continue to work in Congress across party lines to address this urgent crisis.”
Congressman Poliquin is a founding member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in Congress. Since being sworn in, Congressman Poliquin has helped pass major legislation like the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act to combat the opioid epidemic in Maine and has held multiple town halls in the 2nd District—in the Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn communities—to provide local resources for addiction and recovery.