HARRISBURG – On Tuesday, Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) co-chaired the first meeting of the newly established PA Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education (PA-HOPE) Caucus at the Capitol. This caucus, which Kaufer co-chairs with Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny), has gained the interest of numerous other House members, all of whom are interested in addressing the growing opioid and heroin epidemic in the Commonwealth.
“Today’s meeting was the first of many gatherings,” Kaufer said. “We are in the process of developing this caucus, determining its direction and organizing thoughts and ideas for legislation. Today’s meeting was bipartisan and positive. We recognize the major epidemic we face with opioid and heroin abuse in every region of our state. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ response. It’s a multi-faceted problem, which will require multiple solutions, but we stand committed to developing positive results and saving lives.”
To provide expert insight on the issue, Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis and Drug and Alcohol Providers Organization of Pennsylvania President Deb Beck attended the meeting to provide suggestions. Gov. Tom Wolf also briefly attended and commended members who are focused on this important issue.
“This is an issue that is being closely focused on at every level of government,” Kaufer said. “We are losing more than a thousand Americans each week to this issue. It’s unacceptable, and as a member of the PA-HOPE Caucus, I am looking forward to hearing more suggestions, reading more studies, and helping to organize a legislative plan to combat this epidemic.”
As policy discussions and legislation plans continue at the state level, Kaufer remains committed to closely focusing on this issue at the local level. As a legislative leader on this issue, he will host a hearing of the House Majority Policy Committee about drug abuse and addiction services on Thursday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the West Side Career and Technology Center, located at 75 Evans St., in Kingston.
For more information about the PA-HOPE Caucus, the upcoming hearing, or any other state-related issue, contact Kaufer’s district office in Luzerne located at 161 Main St., by calling 570-283-1001. Information can also be found online at RepKaufer.com
Representative Aaron Kaufer
120th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin