Hi, this is Senator Melissa Agard with this week’s Democratic radio address.

“If you’re not willing to help, the least you can do is get out of the way.” It’s what came to mind earlier this week when the Republican members of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee made it clear they were going to object to the Department of Health Services updated proposal to invest the $31 million Wisconsin was awarded from the National Prescription Opiate Litigation (NPOL) settlement funds.

The proposal was based on recommendations from members of the public, advocates, health providers, first responders, and other stakeholders. Instead of moving forward and saving lives, the Republicans are getting in the way. And for no good reason. No one offered any basis for objecting, no one identified anything wrong with the plan. They just wanted to say no. Instead of providing people on the front lines with the tools they need to prevent and reduce the risk of opioid misuse, the Republicans are playing politics.

People across Wisconsin are suffering and this money could be put to use immediately to prevent future overdoses and deaths. If the Republicans aren’t willing to help address the Opioid Crisis, the least they could do is get out of the way.

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