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Turzai: Special session on opioid crisis likely not in the cards

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 6, 2016 5:48 AM
Mike Turzai 600x340.jpg

Photo by Marie Cusick/WITF

House Speaker Mike Turzai.

(Harrisburg) -- Before the summer recess, state legislative leaders asked Governor Tom Wolf to call a special session on Pennsylvania's opioid addiction crisis this fall.

Now as lawmakers prepare to return to Harrisburg this month, a special session may not be in the cards.

While the governor and House lawmakers are interested in a formal special session to debate and pass legislation on Pennsylvania's opioid epidemic, Speaker Mike Turzai says the Senate has indicated it would prefer for the governor to simply address a joint session of the two chambers.

He says legislators are committed to finding solutions to the crisis either way.

"The governor's office and both chambers and folks from both sides of the aisle clearly want to get significant legislation done on the opioid issue," he says.

The speaker says Republican lawmakers are hoping to curb the state's high overdose rate with regulatory changes that won't increase state spending.

Two other issues Turzai is looking to tackle this fall are debt reduction and pension reform.

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