Governors Welcome Signing of Bipartisan Opioids Bill

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) applauds the president’s signing of H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which provides much-needed additional resources to states and communities as they continue the fight against opioids. Addressing this crisis, which takes the lives of over 100 Americans per day, is a top priority for governors across the country. This agreement represents significant bipartisan work on behalf of the administration and Congress to curb opioid addiction and governors are pleased that a number of the priorities they released earlier this year were included in the final package.

“Governors see the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis in their states every day,” said NGA Chair, Governor Steve Bullock. “I appreciate Congress focusing on this issue and look forward to the continued support as we work together to end this epidemic.”

“This comprehensive legislation provides new tools that are crucial to combating the opioid epidemic, including important measures to stop the deadly flow of illicit fentanyl into our communities,” said NGA Vice Chair, Governor Larry Hogan. “Turning the tide in this crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck effort to pursue coordinated, bipartisan solutions from states and the federal government, and this is another critical step toward that goal.”

“As governors, it is critical that we are nimble in our approach and flexible in our response to this evolving crisis,” said NGA Health and Human Services Chair, Governor Kate Brown. “This legislation will amplify states’ efforts to bend the curve on this epidemic, ensuring that those battling this addiction can connect to appropriate treatment.”

“Here in Massachusetts our bipartisan efforts to curb the opioid crisis are making progress and this bipartisan effort by Congress and the Administration will help states’ ongoing substance use prevention, treatment, training and recovery programs. All levels of government must continue to focus on this epidemic and work together to provide relief to the men and women struggling with an addiction,” said NGA Health and Human Services Vice Chair, Governor Charlie Baker.

Additional sustained federal funding will continue to be a critical priority as states address the ongoing opioid epidemic. Additionally, the package does not align patient privacy protections under 42 C.F.R. Part 2 with those under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which is a priority for governors.

Governors will remain fully engaged on this issue as the bill is implemented and future funding decisions are made.