Contact: Rep. Jessie Rodriguez
MADISON – On Tuesday evening, state Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) voted in favor of several bills aimed at battling drug abuse and addiction, a crisis that is worsening across the country. The Assembly overwhelmingly approved all nine bills that will aid in treatment and prevention options.
“The opioid and heroin epidemic has reached every corner of our state and my district is no different,” said Rodriguez. “I made it one of my priorities this session to support and develop legislation that helps put an end to this widespread issue.”
The legislation is part of a broader package of bills developed through the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse co-chaired by Rep. John Nygren and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. In January, Gov. Walker convened a special session to bring the package of bills before the Legislature.
The bipartisan task force, comprised of legislators and experts, recommended unique ideas to aid in addiction and recovery. Notably,Special Session Assembly Bill 6 creates a pilot program for a charter high school that will allow students battling addiction to continue their education while receiving treatment.
“This legislation is important because it will allow students suffering from addiction to continue their education and get the help they need by eliminating potential relapse triggers that may have been present in their daily environment,” said Rodriguez.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has declared prescription painkiller abuse a public health crisis. In response, Rep. Nygren and Assembly Republicans spearheaded the HOPE Agenda – Heroin, Opioid, Prevention and Education. Since 2013, the Legislature unanimously passed 17 HOPE Agenda bills that help stymie the growing problem.