Alexander: Senate Committee Approves Funding to Help Tennessee Fight the Opioid Crisis

Posted on September 26, 2019

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2019 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the bill he voted for today in the Senate Appropriations Committee will give states like Tennessee a boost in their fight against the opioid crisis.

“This bill provides $505 million for U.S. Department of Justice grants to help states including Tennessee tackle the opioid crisis. States could use these grants to help fund their drug courts, educational efforts, law enforcement programs, recovery programs, and treatment programs,” Alexander said. “Our law enforcement officers witness almost daily the tragedy associated with the opioid crisis, which effects virtually every American community. This funding will help give them the support they need to keep our communities safe.”    

“This legislation also includes $100 million for the STOP School Violence Act – legislation I cosponsored that allows the Department of Justice to make grants to states for training, technology and equipment, and technical assistance to help stop school violence.”

Alexander continued: “I was also glad to see the $12 million I requested to fund meth lab cleanup was included in this bill. This will allow the Department of Justice to continue to assist states in the very difficult and often dangerous efforts to clean up meth labs. According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, between 2002 and 2012, Tennessee law enforcement agencies discovered over 16,000 meth labs.  While lab seizures are down, meth abuse continues to be a serious and deadly problem across Tennessee”

The Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides:

  • $505 million for U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grants to help state and local partners tackle the opioid crisis, including $378 million as authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
  • $12 million for competitive grants for Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces. 
  • $100 million in grants for the STOP School Violence Act
  • $38 million for the Regional Information Sharing Systems Program (RISS) to assist law enforcement agencies in collecting and sharing information, supporting criminal investigations and promoting law enforcement officer safety 
  • $8.3 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • $32.4 billion for the U.S. Department of Justice. (DOJ).
  • $2.8 billion for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). 
  • $384 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and increase of $10 million to reduce the 56,000 case backlog. 

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This legislation is consistent with the spending limits included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 approved by Congress, and signed by President Trump, in August. The legislation is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. 

###