State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Wolf hopeful for more opioid funding

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jul 18, 2016 9:14 PM


The governor visits a state Center of Excellence, which is designed to be a "hub" for treatment of opioid addiction. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)

Governor Tom Wolf said at a conference Monday that he believes more funding may be coming down the pipeline to address the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania.

The money would be in addition to the dollars already allocated in the state budget.

The governor initially asked for $34 million in this year's budget for opioid addiction treatment. In the end, he got $15 million, plus $5.4 million from the federal government.

Wolf says he thinks most lawmakers kept funding lower out of caution

"My own sense is that the reason I didn't get the 34 million was not because there isn't bipartisan support for this," Wolf said. "Because there is. It's because people want to make sure that we're doing the right thing."

House GOP leaders recently called for a special legislative session solely focused on the opioid epidemic, and Governor Wolf says he supports the idea.

He says there is a very good chance more funding will be appropriated when one is held.

The money that's currently available is being used to create at least 20 so-called Centers of Excellence around the state, where comprehensive addiction treatment will be coordinated.

Wolf says the current funds could potentially stretch even further than initial projections, and ultimately be used to open more than 20 centers, which would treat over 4,500 people.

State Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas says it is possible there could be extra money. He says any extra would come from Medicare savings and other efficiencies.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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