Recovery Advocacy Issues and Calls to Action
Minnesota should pass legislation to allow people who have served their time and are living in their community to vote. Restoring the right to vote for those living in the community will positively engage more people in the democratic process, make the law clear and save resources, and ultimately make all Minnesota communities safer and more just. Visit restorethevotemn.org for more information.
Support Continues to Grow for Restore the Vote MN
Restore the Vote legislation has come a long way in a short time. Bills have been introduced in the House (HF 342) and Senate (SF 355). The House file has a republican lead author in Tony Cornish who is joined by over 30 other co-authors. The senate file also has bi-partisan support with lead author Bobby Joe Champion joined by 3 republican co-authors.
Find out who your MN Legislators are here.
The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery act of 2015 (Federal Legislation)
Click image below for the article: The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, the Legislative Process, and the Importance of Advocacy
Written by Doug Rudolph, YPR Chief Policy Officer
The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) 2015 is the most expansive federal, bipartisan legislation to date for addiction support services, designating between $40 million and $80 million toward advancing treatment and recovery support services in state and local communities across the country for recovery community organizations, recovery high schools and collegiate recovery programs. You can read the full bill here.
This legislation will save lives!
“As the saying goes, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” In other words, policies regarding alcohol and drug dependence are going to get made (or not made) with or without the input of people such policies affect most. These are policies that affect access to and quality of resources that are integral to maintaining a person’s ongoing recovery. Needless to say, we need to be at the table – rather than merely on the menu. We need to make sure that our interests are being advanced in the policy arena. CARA is the first bill of its kind to address addiction in such an expansive way, and begin to effectively bridge the large gap between science and practice, and expand community support and educational resources.”
Both MN Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are cosponsors of the Senate Bill
(SB 524). However, there are currently no MN Representatives on to the CARA 2015 House Bill
Call your US Representative today and ask them to sign on to the House CARA bill!
Find out who your Representative is here!
This is how you do it:
Them: Representative’s office, how can I help you?
You: Hi, my name is [Your Name], and I’m a resident of [Your State].
I support House Bill 953: The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. This bill is very important to improve recovery support services in the United States. I’m calling to urge the Representative to co-sponsor and support this important and historic legislation!
Them: Thank you for calling. Can I get your name again and your address?
You: Yes. My name is . . . and my address is . . .
Them: I will let the Representative know you called.
You: Thank you for your time!
MORE ABOUT CARA 2015:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from car accidents – an average of 114 people per day. Moreover, the majority of those who need help with addiction issues are not receiving it. Of the approximately 22.7 million Americans who needed treatment for substance use in 2013, only 2.5 million people received it, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 would:
- Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
- Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
- Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
- Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
- Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program. While we have medications that can help treat addiction, there is a critical need to get the training and resources necessary to expand treatment best practices throughout the country.
- Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.
Please take a moment to contact your US Reresentative
today to help pass this important legislation!
CORI is an organization of individuals and groups who are committed to advocating for additional resources and public policy changes in the area of chemical dependency. CORI is dedicated to advancing innovative, cost saving, and successful public policy that helps thousands of Minnesotans recover from the consequences of addiction.
CORI’s membership is made up of unions, health care groups, recovery advocates, counties and private sector businesses.
2014 Legislative Session – Priorities and Successes
- Additional Funding for Sober Schools: The Coalition was successful in securing $500,000 for Recovery schools for 2015 and an additional $1 million for 16/17.
- Additional Funding for Detox Centers: The Coalition was successful in securing $75,000 for DHS which will pay for staff to update the department’s rules allowing the state to qualify for a 50% Medicaid match for detox programs traditionally paid for by county property taxes, saving property taxes payers millions.
- Advocate for Additional Funding for Minnesota Drug Courts: The Coalition will prioritized funding for specialty and drug courts during the 2015 budget session.
- Vigilant Support of the HF 2307, Good Samaritan Legislation: The Coalition played a role in helping Good Samaritan Legislation pass the 2014 legislative session.
- Amend Self-Reporting Procedures for Health Care Professionals: The Coalition supported the self-reporting bill brought forward by the MN Nurses Association, which was successful in passing.
2015 Legislative Session – Priorities
CORI is looking for individuals and groups to join its coalition for the 2015 legislative session with the following initial legislative priorities.
- It is CORI’s goal for the 2015 legislative session to increase funding for chemical dependency issues either through new revenue or diverting current revenue streams. Disbursement of any additional revenue will be allocated based on coalition objectives, cost saving measurements and quantifiable chemical dependency outcomes.
- It is CORI’S goal for the 2015 legislative session to focus considerable efforts on the state’s ballooning opiate problem, helping craft state policy and advocate for additional resources.
- It is CORI’s goal to work with the department of human services to update state policy to help with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
- CORI recognizes the importance of helping vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities overcome chemical dependency issues and wants to engage and assist these groups achieve their goals
Steve’s Law would SAVE LIVES in Minnesota by providing immunity to those who call 911 in good faith to save a life, and allowing law-enforcement and the public to access and administer naloxone (brand name Narcan), to save lives. Click here for information to print, post and pass along.
Gov. Dayton signed Steve’s Law (SF 1900) on Friday, May 9, 2014. The naloxone portion of the bill is effective immediately and the 911 Good Samaritan portion is effective July 1, 2014.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who contacted your MN legislators to help make this happen. We especially want to thank Lexi Reed Holtum, from the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, Janie Colford, from the 911 Good Samaritan Citizen Coalition, and all the mothers who lost children to overdose who were at the MN State Capitol every day to share their story in hopes that no other parents experience such a loss – THANK YOU for all your dedicated work at the legislature this session!
Steve’s Law is one of the strongest 911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone bills in the country and we know that it will save the lives of many Minnesotans!
Minnesota Recovery Connection has worked in collaboration with the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation and the 911 Good Samaritan Citizen Coalition over this past year to get “Steve’s Law,” a Good Samaritan bill for Minnesota, drafted, authored and introduced. During this legislative session we have been working with the bills’ chief authors, Sen. Eaton and Rep. Schoen, to move the legislation through committees in both the MN House and Senate. Lexi Reed Holtum, from the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, and members of the Good Samaritan Coalition have worked diligently to gain authors and garner legislative support for the bills as they moved through the process of being heard in each necessary committee and the MN House and Senate.
The Good Samaritan legislation, also known as “Steve’s Law,” named after Steve Rummler, who died of a heroin overdose in 2011, and after whom the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation was formed and named, follows 19 other states and the District of Columbia in establishing Good Samaritan laws and/or access to naloxone (brand name Narcan, the antidote to opioid overdose).
The goal of Steve’s Law is to save lives and reduce the number of overdose deaths in Minnesota by providing limited immunity to those who, in good faith, call 911 to request emergency medical services for someone experiencing an overdose. Often times having to wait for medical responders to administer naloxone can mean the difference between life and death, so this legislation will also allow for law-enforcement, treatment facilities, health providers and members of the public to have access to, possess and administer naloxone until further medical assistance can arrive.
What Can You Do?
There are many ways that you can take action and be a face and a voice for recovery. If you don’t want to be public about your recovery, you can work as an advocate behind the scenes, providing financial and other support to our work to strengthen the recovery community in Minnesota. The important thing is, there’s something that you can do to support recovery today!
- Speak out as a person in long-term recovery or as a family member. Use Recovery Messaging or Our Stories have Power to practice ways of talking about recovery and what it’s meant to you. Use the Advocacy with Anonymity brochure to learn how to tell your story without violating the traditions if you are in recovery using a 12-step program. Share your story with friends, neighbors, co-workers and policymakers.
- Educate yourself and others about the issues that are important to the recovery community and talk to your legislators about why they’re important to you. By speaking, writing or supporting advocacy efforts, members of the recovery community can make a profound difference in public understanding of addiction and recovery and change policies that put up barriers to recovery. Don’t know who your legislators are? Find out here.