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Portman's Addiction and Recovery Bill is Likely to Pass This Week

Portman says he's convinced the bill has enough support and promise to keep the funding going.
Portman says he's convinced the bill has enough support and promise to keep the funding going.
Portman says he's convinced the bill has enough support and promise to keep the funding going.
Credit SCREEN CAPTURE
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Portman says he's convinced the bill has enough support and promise to keep the funding going.

After months of delays, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is expecting final approval of hisComprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act this week. And asWKSU’sM.L.Schultzereports for Ohio Public Radio, he believes the bill has a strong chance for continued funding -- even in a Congress leaning toward budget cuts.

The bill sets up an inter-agency task force and awards grants to communities for prevention, treatment and recovery for people addicted to opiates.

The final version that came out of a House and Senate conference committee authorizes nearly $900 million over five years – an increase over separate House and Senate versions. Portman acknowledges that authorization is not an appropriation, but given the strong bipartisan support for the bill, he thinks the money will be there.

“The money will be spent in ways that we think is much more likely to turn the tide on this horrible epidemic that we have in Ohio and around the country, where you have more and more people being addicted, more families being torn apart, more communities being devastated by the crime.”

More than 200 addiction, recovery and law enforcement organizations nationally support the bill.

What will Portman being doing in Cleveland next week?

Portman says he plans to be at and near the Republican National Convention, though with a far lower profile than four years ago. That’s when he had a prime-time speaking slot and was repeatedly mentioned as a running mate for Mitt Romney.

This year, he’ll be refurbishing houses for Habitat for Humanity, helping Wounded Warriors kayak and hosting a kind-of mock convention for some 500 high school and college volunteers on his campaign.

Alternatives to the RNC

“These volunteers, the vast majority of them don’t have the credentials to go onto the convention floor, but they’ll be able to get a feel for the convention and we’ll be to talk to them about our unprecedented efforts on the grass-roots side.”

Portman, who is locked in a battle for re-election with formerGov. Ted Strickland, says he’s not ducking the convention or his endorsement of Donald Trump and plans to speak at the Ohio delegation breakfast and visit Quicken Loans Arena two or three times. 

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Portman's Addiction and Recovery Bill is Likely to Pass This Week