05.29.18

In Sturgeon Bay and Kaukauna, Senator Baldwin Calls for Senate Vote on New Bipartisan Legislation to Fight the Opioid Crisis

Bipartisan reforms will prevent the flow of illegal fentanyl and opioids from other countries, support first responders with lifesaving naloxone, invest in local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and provide more resources for growing meth problem

STURGEON BAY AND KAUKAUNA, WI – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin met with local law enforcement, first responders and community leaders in Sturgeon Bay and Kaukauna to discuss ways Washington can do more to support local efforts to fight illicit opioids, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

“Washington needs to step up and be a stronger partner to help local communities fight this crisis. Our Senate health committee just passed bipartisan legislation to give our communities more resources to save lives, and now it’s time to bring that legislation to the Senate floor and pass it,” said Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

As a member of the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Baldwin successfully worked to include key reforms in the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which passed out of the committee in April and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.

The bipartisan legislation would help prevent the flow of illegal fentanyl and opioids from other countries, support first responders with lifesaving naloxone, extend and expand investments in local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and provide more resources to combat the growing methamphetamine problem in Wisconsin.

Senator Baldwin has also helped introduce the bipartisan Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act that directly supports rural emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in training and recruiting staff and purchasing equipment like naloxone. 

Senator Baldwin was joined at the roundtable in Sturgeon Bay today by Mayor Thad Birmingham, Police Chief Arleigh Porter, Administrator Josh Van Lieshout, Door County Administrator Ken Pabich, Director of Human Services Joe Krebsbach and Kewaunee County Sheriff Mathew Joski.

Senator Baldwin was joined at the roundtable in Kaukauna by Mayor Tony Penterman, Fire Chief Paul Hirte, Assistant Fire Chiefs Don Grindheim and Craig Schneider, Lieutenant Cody Foss, and Kaukauna firefighters and driver operators.  

Methamphetamine abuse has been sharply rising in Northeast Wisconsin, in particular. According to a recent report by the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory, Outagamie and Calumet counties were among the ten counties with the largest meth case increases between 2011 and 2015.

“The Senate health committee just passed my bipartisan legislation to help stop the flow of illicit drugs- like fentanyl, meth and illegal opioids- from coming into America from other countries. My legislation gives the federal government more tools to prevent these drugs from entering the US at the border through our International Mail Facilities,” said Senator Baldwin. “I also worked to provide states with more flexibility using federal funding so Wisconsin will be able to put it to work addressing the growing problem of meth abuse in northeast Wisconsin.”