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Gov. Scott Walker signs 2 more bills to combat opioid abuse

GREEN BAY — Gov. Scott Walker has signed two more bills designed to fight opioid abuse.

The governor signed the bills Monday in Green Bay.

“Wisconsin is leading the nation when it comes to addressing opioid and heroin abuse,” Governor Walker said in a statement. “This nationwide epidemic knows no boundaries. By working with law enforcement officials, medical professionals, school districts and community members we can help Wisconsin families and our communities from the dangers of opioid abuse. I am proud to have now signed 30 bills into law addressing this epidemic.”

“I’m thrilled to see additional DOJ administered grant funds for law enforcement to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Schimel in a statement. “We need to do all we can to stop these drugs from coming into the state in the first place and must make sure our law enforcement officers are well trained to safely handle the rise of dangerously potent fentanyl and the ever-evolving analogs.”

The first bill lays out $1.5 million to treat jail inmates. The measure also directs state officials to administer $500,000 in federal grants for anti-abuse programs and establishes $1 million in grants to help fund drug investigations.

The second bill requires social workers and therapists to be knowledgeable about addiction treatment and provides the University of Wisconsin System with $250,000 annually to increase the number of graduate students studying to be mental health nurse practitioners and provide fellowships for psychiatric nursing students to work in rural settings.

Walker’s office says he has now signed 30 bills addressing opioid abuse — part of the HOPE (Heroin, Opiate, Prevention and Education Agenda).