Governor Carney Signs Legislation to Boost Library Technology, Scholarship Opportunities

New measures will help libraries coordinate technology resources and offer additional educational opportunities

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed into law House Bill 94 and House Bill 34, legislation that will allow Delaware libraries to further their efforts to coordinate technology resources statewide and offer more educational opportunities to library and archives professionals.

“Delaware libraries have become centers for exploration and innovation – places where people from all walks of life can ignite their passions and unleash their potential. Technology is the lynchpin of the modern library, and I’m proud that libraries across our state are working in such close collaboration to bring those resources to the public,” said Governor Carney. “I’m also proud to continue to honor the legacy of a true champion for our libraries, Ada Leigh Soles, by extending the scholarship that bears her name to more eligible professionals in the library and archives fields.”

The two measures signed into law Wednesday at the Newark Free Library include House Bill 94, which codifies the state Division of Libraries’ responsibility to administer the Delaware Library Consortium. Launched in 2010, this statewide network of libraries has partnered together to improve the quality and accessibility of technological resources available at libraries. The consortium’s efforts include the development of a statewide digital library catalog and the expansion of high-speed broadband internet access to all public libraries, as well as coordinated purchasing of computer hardware and a centralized tech help desk.

House Bill 34, also signed Wednesday, expands the availability of the Ada Leigh Soles Memorial Professional Librarian and Archivist Incentive Scholarship Program to include employees of non-public libraries in Delaware that join the consortium. Established in 2010 as a tribute to the late Newark legislator and tireless advocate for libraries, the Ada Leigh Soles award provides financial assistance to students who work for Delaware libraries and the Delaware Public Archives.

Both measures were approved earlier this year by the General Assembly with unanimous support. Newark-area legislators Representative Paul Baumbach and Senator David Sokola led the effort to pass the bills.

“It is my honor to have sponsored House Bill 34, which enhances the Ada Leigh Soles scholarship, given that Ada Leigh was my state representative when I moved back to Newark in 1990,” said Representative Baumbach. “Just as Ada Leigh was a cornerstone of our community during her tenure, libraries are cornerstones of our communities throughout our state and nation.”

“My mother was passionate about education, libraries and serving her community. A scholarship that helps educate librarians and archivists so that they can serve their communities is the perfect tribute to her,” said Catherine Soles Pomeroy, daughter of Ada Leigh Soles. “Of course, she always said that this type of recognition was just the whipped cream on top of what was a very fulfilling career. But who doesn’t enjoy some whipped cream every now and then?”

New Castle County administers the largest network of public libraries in the state and serves as a key partner in the Delaware Library Consortium. The Division of Libraries, which oversees the consortium, is an agency of the Delaware Department of State.

“Our library system enables countless residents to study, learn, and find work. We are extremely appreciative of the Department of State’s support for technology in libraries across Delaware, including the many libraries in New Castle County,” said County Executive Matt Meyer. “The statewide library consortium formalized through this legislation will provide residents with equal access to the information they need to conduct their daily lives.”

“The Delaware Library Consortium now enables libraries to ‘crowdsource’ community services through a growing network of partner agencies and nonprofits,” said Dr. Annie Norman, State Librarian and Director of the Division of Libraries. “Under the leadership of Gov. Carney, we look forward to maximizing these services on behalf of library patrons across the state.”

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LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY: Governor Carney, Lawmakers Expand Access to Medical Marijuana for Delawareans with PTSD

Senate Bill 24, signed this week, will improve access to treatment for Delaware veterans

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney this week signed into law Senate Bill 24, which will expand access to medical marijuana treatment for Delaware veterans, and other Delawareans, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The legislation was sponsored by Senator Margaret Rose Henry, Representative Paul Baumbach, and Representative Helene Keeley, and passed the General Assembly with support from members of both parties. It removes the requirement that a psychiatrist must authorize a patient with PTSD to access medical marijuana – making the process consistent with patients suffering from other debilitating conditions treatable by medical marijuana in Delaware.

“This is a common sense, and compassionate amendment to Delaware’s medical marijuana law that will expand access to treatment for Delaware veterans and others who live every day with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Governor Carney. “Thank you to Senator Henry, Representative Baumbach, Representative Keeley, and all members of the General Assembly for their leadership on this issue.”

Read Governor Carney’s full Legislative Advisory #9, and for all legislative advisories, visit the Governor’s website.


Governor Carney Signs Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Plan, Capping General Assembly Session

Session included measures to improve Delaware’s economy, create jobs, reform the Department of Correction, and combat addiction crisis

Highlights of the 2017 legislative session include:

  • Restructuring Economic Development: House Bill 226 restructures the way Delaware attracts good-paying jobs to Delaware and keeps them here, with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and small business development.

    Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Senator Nicole Poore, Representative Stephanie T. Bolden, Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, Representative Charles Potter, Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Senator Jack Walsh, Senator Greg Lavelle, Senator Anthony Delcollo, Representative Danny Short, Representative Steve Smyk, and Representative Ronald Gray (not pictured) applaud Governor Carney after the bill signing.
  • Modernizing the Coastal Zone Act: House Bill 190 allows the responsible redevelopment of 14 legacy industrial sites along the Delaware coastline, bolstering Delaware’s economy while paving the way for additional environmental clean-up of those sites.
  • Raising Correctional Officer Pay: The Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes a pay increase for Correctional Officers across experience levels – including a 22 percent increase to starting officer pay that will help Delaware recruit and retain officers and eliminate a staffing shortage.
  • Combatting Delaware’s Addiction Crisis: Senate Bill 41, House Bill 91, and House Bill 100 will expand access to substance abuse treatment, and strengthen oversight of opioid prescriptions. Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 220 will form a Behavioral Health Consortium and an Addiction Action Committee to create an integrated plan around the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental health challenges.
  • Creating the Department of Human Resources: House Bill 4 creates a new Department of Human Resources to help confront issues important to state employees. The new agency will promote diversity and inclusion across state government, and help solve a Correctional Officer staffing shortage.
  • Protecting Delawareans from Cybersecurity Threats: House Bill 180 requires additional protections for Delawareans whose personal information may be compromised in a computer breach, including requiring additional notifications and free credit monitoring services.

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney on Sunday night signed a $4.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a plan that balances a nearly $400 million budget shortfall through a nearly equal mix of spending reductions and new revenue, while maintaining funding for key public services.

Governor Carney signed the budget in his Legislative Hall office flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. He also signed a $590 million capital spending plan and a $37.2 million grant-in-aid bill.

“Since January, I have talked to thousands of Delawareans who understand the need for a balanced, long-term budget plan for our state,” said Governor Carney. “The budget I signed tonight makes critical investments in education, healthcare, our environment, and in our correctional system. But going forward, we cannot be complacent. We must do more to put Delaware on a sustainable path forward. With this budget, we are committing to studying real spending reforms, and to improving the way we deliver state services. We also should continue discussing new, creative ways to fund those services through a long-term revenue plan. Thank you to the General Assembly for their work on this budget, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

 

The budget funds a number of key priorities, including:

  • $24.2 million to fully fund new teachers in Delaware’s classrooms to match enrollment growth.
  • $16 million to fund pay increases for Correctional Officers.
  • $7.8 million to fully fund growth in the Medicaid program for low-income Delawareans, Delawareans with disabilities, and seniors in long-term care.
  • $4.7 million to maintain funding for early childhood education.
  • $2.3 million to authorize new Correctional Officer positions.
  • $1 million to add funding for substance abuse treatment programs.

Savings and other reductions include:

  • $11 million reduction to the Educational Sustainment Fund.
  • $5 million savings by eliminating 200 vacant positions across state agencies.
  • $2 million target savings in employee health costs.
  • $1.6 million reduction by modifying double state share for employee health insurance rates.

Revenue increases include:

  • $116 million: Corporate franchise tax increases
  • $11.6 million: Raise taxes on cigarettes 50 cents per pack, and increase taxes on other tobacco products.
  • $5.2 million: Raise taxes on beer, wine and spirits, including by one penny per beer.
  • $44.7 million: 1% increase in the realty transfer tax.
  • $4.5 million: Across-the-board increases to the filing fees associated with Department of Insurance filings.

 

When Governor Carney signed the budget, he capped a legislative session that included significant action to improve Delaware’s economy, create jobs, reform the Department of Correction, and combat Delaware’s addiction crisis.

“Together with lawmakers of both parties, we have acted to create good-paying jobs, and to make sure our economy works for all Delawareans. We have taken steps to reform our prison system and confront our addiction crisis head on,” said Governor Carney. “We’ve also passed common sense reforms to protect Delawareans from cybersecurity threats, and to close a persistent gender pay gap. Votes taken this session will make a real difference for citizens up and down our great state. Thank you to members of the General Assembly for their hard work and partnership on these important issues.”

 

Additional details:

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL PLAN

Budget Reset Community Conversations: Governor Carney met with thousands of Delawareans from Claymont to Delmar about Delaware’s budget challenges. Hosted by members of the General Assembly, the Governor held ten budget town halls before his budget presentation on March 23, and another ten town halls after presenting his budget plan.

Managing Healthcare Costs: House Joint Resolution 7 authorizes DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker to establish a health care budget benchmark with a growth rate tied to the overall economy of the state. It is the first step in evaluating the total cost of care of health care in the state and a major step in transforming Delaware’s health care system to a more outcome-driven system and away from a system that pays for care based solely on the number of room days, visits, procedures and tests.

DEFAC Panel on Budgeting Practices: House Joint Resolution 8 creates a panel of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council to study and develop a report on Delaware’s historic budgeting practices, the need for reasonable restrictions on the use of budget surpluses, and the benefits of a budget stabilization fund.

Making Government More Efficient: Governor Carney signed Executive Order #4, creating the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (GEAR) and committing to a long-term effort to study cost savings, efficiencies and ways to improve the delivery of services across state government. Governor Carney maintained a commitment to responsible spending in his budget and throughout the year, calling for an equal mix of spending reductions and new revenue to confront Delaware’s budget challenges.

Escheat Reform: Senate Bill 13 comprehensively rewrites Delaware’s unclaimed property laws. In an effort to align Delaware’s laws with other states, the legislation retooled all aspects of unclaimed property examinations, voluntary disclosure agreements (VDAs), and compliance.

 

CREATING JOBS

Restructuring Economic Development: House Bill 226 approved Governor Carney’s plan to fundamentally restructure Delaware’s economic development efforts, with a new focus on supporting Delaware’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, and promoting innovation. Governor Carney’s plan includes creation of a public-private partnership, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, to leverage additional resources to help attract employers to Delaware, keep them here, support innovation and develop Delaware’s workforce. On his first full day in office, Governor Carney signed Executive Order #1 to explore a new economic development strategy. Restructuring the state’s economic development efforts, and partnering strategically with the private sector, was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Modernizing the Coastal Zone Act: House Bill 190 will allow responsible redevelopment of 14 heavy industrial sites in the Coastal Zone Act. The reform will pave the way for new job creation and additional cleanup of legacy industrial sites along Delaware’s coastline. Governor Carney called for a plan to responsibly modify the Coastal Zone Act during his March address to the General Assembly. Revitalizing abandoned industrial sites was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Expanding Broadband Access: House Bill 189 will accelerate investments in mobile broadband infrastructure, expanding access to high-speed internet for Delawareans and businesses across the state and encouraging innovation. Expanding broadband access was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

 

REFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Correctional Officer Pay Increases: The Fiscal Year 2018 budget funds the agreement with the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware (COAD) to raise salaries for Delaware’s Correctional Officers – including a 22 percent increase in starting officer pay – to help recruit and retain officers across Delaware’s correctional system.

Adding Correctional Officer Positions: The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget authorizes and funds 50 additional Correctional Officers at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and 25 additional officers at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution.

Investing in Equipment and Training: The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget invests $2 million in new cameras at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and $1.3 million in new equipment and training that will help Correctional Officers better prevent and respond to violent incidents.

Special Assistant: Governor Carney appointed Claire DeMatteis – a former senior counsel to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden – as a temporary Special Assistant to the Governor at the Delaware Department of Correction. DeMatteis will focus her efforts on reform of management practices and training, cultural turnaround, and implementation of Governor Carney’s plan following the Independent Review into the causes of the February 1 incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Improving Re-Entry Programs, Reducing Recidivism: Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps hired Jim Elder – the Director of Clinical Services for Re-entry Programming at the Wilmington HOPE Commission – to lead DOC’s efforts to help offenders successfully re-enter their communities, and reduce Delaware’s rate of recidivism. The selection of Elder will place a new emphasis inside the agency on re-entry programming and efforts to reduce recidivism.

 

COMBATTING DELAWARE’S ADDICTION CRISIS

Expanding Treatment, Strengthening Regulation: Senate Bill 41, House Bill 91, and House Bill 100, a bipartisan package of legislation, will expand access to substance abuse treatment, strengthen oversight of opioid prescriptions, and combat Delaware’s addiction crisis. Governor Carney signed the legislation during a ceremony that included remarks from Attorney General Matt Denn, members of the General Assembly, and Delaware advocates for improved access to substance abuse treatment – including families who have lost loved ones to Delaware’s opioid epidemic.

Behavioral Health Consortium: Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 220 will further combat Delaware’s addiction epidemic and improve services for those suffering from mental illness. The legislation will lead to the creation of a Behavioral Health Consortium and an Addiction Action Committee that will form an integrated plan and blueprint for action for the prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders in Delaware. The creation of the consortium and coordinated plan was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

 

STANDING UP FOR DELAWAREANS

Creating the Department of Human Resources: House Bill 4 creates a new Department of Human Resources to help confront issues important to state employees. The new agency will promote diversity and inclusion across state government, and help solve a Correctional Officer staffing shortage. Creating a new Human Resources agency was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Confronting the Gender Pay Gap: House Bill 1 will prevent employers from requesting the salary history of job applicants and will help close the pay gap between men and women. The bipartisan legislation – which takes effect in December – also explicitly prohibits employers from screening applicants based on previous compensation history.

Protecting Delawareans from Cybersecurity Threats: House Bill 180 requires additional protections for Delawareans whose personal information may be compromised in a computer breach, including additional notifications and free credit monitoring services.

Artificial Island: Senate Joint Resolution 2 urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to accept either of PJM’s alternative cost allocation methodologies for funding the Artificial Island transmission line project. As currently funded, Delmarva Peninsula ratepayers would fund more than 90 percent of the cost of the project through higher electric bills, while receiving few direct benefits. Under PJM’s alternative methods for cost allocation, Delmarva ratepayers would fund approximately 7-10 percent of the project costs. Governor Carney has consistently worked with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to urge a more fair resolution for Delmarva ratepayers.

Offering Delawareans a Second Chance: Senate Bill 54 allows Delawareans with juvenile records to petition Delaware’s judicial system for expungement, removing barriers to additional education and employment.

Redeveloping Blighted Properties: House Bill 187 and House Bill 188 hold property owners of blighted properties accountable, requiring them to clean up their properties and pay back taxes before bidding on additional properties, and ensuring that taxpayers do not bear costs created by abandonment.

 

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For details on all of the legislation that Governor Carney has signed into law to date, visit the Legislative Advisories page on the Governor’s website.


Governor Carney Signs Legislation to Address Gender Pay Gap

Delaware will become first state to prohibit employers from requesting salary history

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed a new law that will prevent employers from requesting the salary history of job applicants and will help close the pay gap between men and women.

Sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, the bipartisan legislation – which takes effect in December – also explicitly prohibits employers from screening applicants based on previous compensation history.

Delaware will become the first state to enact such changes into law. Massachusetts passed a similar measure last year that will take effect in January.

“All Delawareans should expect to be compensated equally for performing the same work,” said Governor Carney. “This new law will help guarantee that across our state, and address a persistent wage gap between men and women. Thank you to Representative Longhurst and members of the General Assembly of both parties for your leadership on this issue.”

Governor Carney signs HS 1 to HB 1.
Governor Carney signs HS 1 to HB 1.

“Pay inequity should not exist in the first place,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Unfortunately, women often have to work harder for our success and to be paid the same as our male counterparts. We still only make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. This legislation will provide a crucial step toward equalizing wages and eliminating this gap. We owe it to the hardworking women and mothers out there today, and our young girls who will make up our future workforce, to create a level playing field for all of them.”

 

“Closing the wage gap is a major economic issue for our state and we should do everything in our power as legislators to work to even the playing field and empower the next generation of young women,” said Representative Longhurst. “Delaware is making history today, as we will be the first state to have a wage history law in effect. This new law will protect all prospective employees from having their previous jobs’ salary potentially used against them when seeking work. People should be judged and paid based on their qualifications and not have their previous salaries count against them.”

“It’s one thing to say that we need to do better for women; it’s another thing to take action,” said Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry. “HS 1 for HB 1 takes real steps to protect women in the workforce where it often matters most: the hiring table. Without wage secrecy protections, employers are free—and, in fact, have an incentive—to perpetuate substantial, long-term wage discrimination against women. We still have a long way to go, but this will make a real difference not only for women in the workforce, but for the 40 percent of households that rely on a woman as their primary wage-earner.”

“I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation. All issues as they relate to wages and salary schedules should be gender-neutral,” said House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson. “A person’s gender should not be a factor in what we pay an individual for a particular job. This bill ensures we make that happen.”

“I believe one of my jobs in the Senate is to help create a level playing field for all people,” said Senator Cathy Cloutier. “This legislation is one step closer to true job equality for everyone.”

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Governor Carney Signs Package of Legislation to Combat Addiction Crisis

New laws expand access to substance abuse treatment, remove insurance barriers, and strengthen oversight of prescriptions

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 41, House Bill 91, and House Bill 100, a bipartisan package of legislation that will expand access to substance abuse treatment, strengthen oversight of opioid prescriptions, and combat Delaware’s addiction crisis.

Governor Carney signed the legislation during a ceremony that included remarks from Attorney General Matt Denn, members of the General Assembly, and Delaware advocates for improved access to substance abuse treatment – including families who have lost loved ones to Delaware’s opioid epidemic.

May 30 Bill Signings

“Far too many Delawareans, and Delaware families, have been affected by this crisis,” said Governor Carney. “These new laws represent a significant step forward in our efforts to combat Delaware’s addiction epidemic. To the Delaware families who have lost loved ones to addiction, and who are now fighting to prevent others from experiencing the same fate, your work is nothing short of inspiring. To the Delawareans who are using your own experience with substance abuse to help others, know that you are making a difference. We will continue to follow your lead. Thank you to Attorney General Denn and members of the General Assembly for your continued urgency on this issue.”

“The credit for these bills should go to the Delawareans who have overcome substance abuse, and the families who lost loved ones to drug overdoses, who stepped forward and shared their thoughts about where the system was failing and how it could be improved,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “We listened and tried to turn their suggestions into laws, but the ideas came from those families, and after giving us the ideas they stood shoulder to shoulder with us to make sure the bills were passed.”

“I truly feel that every life matters,” said MaryBeth Cichocki, who lost her son to opioid addiction, and advocated for the new laws. “We are all one injury or surgery away from the disease that continues to take the lives of those we love. As long as I breathe, Matt will continue to live.”

“We are grGov. Carney signs legislation.ateful for all those responsible for the passing of these bills,” said Don Keister, a founder of atTAcK Addiction, whose son lost his battle with addiction. “When families need help, it’s important that services are available without additional delays. If these laws had been around when our son was battling this disease, he may still be alive today.”

Legislation signed into law on Tuesday will take a number of steps to expand access to substance abuse treatment, target barriers to insurance coverage, and improve Delaware’s response to the addiction epidemic.

The package will:

• Prevent private insurers from using pre-authorization and referral requirements to delay access to substance abuse treatment;
• Require insurance companies to cover 14 days of substance abuse treatment before conducting a “utilization review” that can delay treatment;
• Limit insurance companies from denying substance abuse treatment based on “medical necessity” grounds;
• Allow the Department of Justice to use consumer protection funds to advocate for those being denied coverage based on “medical necessity” grounds;
• Establish a new committee to help oversee opioid prescriptions, and strengthen the oversight of over-prescription.

“Even with limitless support, battling addiction is incredibly difficult. But it shouldn’t be made harder by insurance companies and health care providers standing in the way of critical treatment,” said Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry, the lead Senate sponsor of House Bill 100. “I am grateful to Governor Carney for signing this important legislation into law, so Delawareans never again have to worry about whether they’re covered by insurance before seeking substance abuse treatment that could save their lives.”

“Delawareans who take the initiative to seek treatment for substance abuse shouldn’t have to wade through red tape to get the help they need,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen, the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 41. “I appreciate the Attorney General’s leadership in helping us pass this important legislation, which ensures that insurance companies are forbidden from imposing pre-certifications, screenings, prior authorizations or referrals for those ready to make the potentially life-saving decision to get help.”

“In light of the scourge of addiction, we need to get these people appropriate treatment, when it’s needed,” said Senator Dave Lawson. “Current coverages are insufficient.”

“These measures are necessary first steps towards addressing the needs of a significant portion of the more than 90,000 Delawareans currently suffering from addiction. We mustn’t fail to provide safety-nets for those in need of immediate treatment, and we must work to ensure current policies align with the increasing needs of Delawareans affected by addiction,” said Senator Anthony Delcollo. “Lastly, we cannot continue to operate in a vacuum when addressing addiction, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to aggressively pursue solutions to improve the lives of almost 100,000 Delawareans affected by this horrific disease.”

“If people struggle and stumble as they seek treatment, they should have the ability to come back and get treated again. Addiction is a disease, just like cancer and diabetes, and should be considered as one when it comes to medical treatment. Delawareans struggling with addiction should be extended a helping hand when they seek treatment, not have the door shut in their faces,” said Representative Helene Keeley, the prime Bill Signingssponsor of House Bill 100. “These combined efforts provide us with the necessary resources to battle the opioid epidemic in the First State and remove the stigma associated with substance abuse.”

“These bills will help save lives in Delaware and I am proud to be part of this effort to combat the disease of addiction. Substance abuse treatment helps people reintegrate into society and lead productive lives,” said Representative Michael Mulrooney, the prime sponsor of House Bill 91. “If we deny people suffering from substance abuse the treatment they need, it can lead them to relapse and either end up in the criminal justice system or worse.”

“This package of legislation represents best practices that we are implementing in Delaware in order to strategically address our concerns in battling the heroin and opioid epidemic,” said Representative Ruth Briggs King. “And, we are not done yet. Other bills, such as the substance-exposed infant legislation is working its way through Legislative Hall and should be our next primary focus in this ongoing effort to combat this epidemic.”

“These bills are key to fighting the opioid epidemic in Delaware because they address a very important component of this process – making sure adequate treatment is available to those who need it,” said Representative Tim Dukes. “Without access to treatment, all our efforts may as well be considered for nothing.”

“Collectively, these bills also add to the public awareness that addiction is a disease, that it can be treated, and people do recover,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “With addiction, we know that when people are ready for treatment, the window can be small in terms of connecting them to that critical care. At the Department of Health and Social Services, we will do everything in our power to connect that person to the treatment they seek.”

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