xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

ANNAPOLIS - State lawmakers unveiled a few of their legislative priorities Tuesday, including two measures to tackle the growing scourge of heroin addiction in Maryland.

One measure would create a long-term strategy to deal with the heroin issue, including relying on expert opinion. Another bill would make it easier for patients to get "abuse-deterrent drugs."

Advertisement

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, D-Baltimore County, who is sponsoring the bill that would create a strategy, said it was time to act on the heroin epidemic.

"We have a bill in . to make up a consortium, and the consortium will be all the interested parties throughout Maryland - DHMH (the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene), law enforcement, the attorney general's office, just to name a few," Klausmeier said. ?

Advertisement

The legislative initiative comes as Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is also about to set up a heroin task force. An announcement on the composition of that task force could come next week.

Del. Brett Wilson, R-Washington, said the task force could "look at the programs we have, the crimes we have, where things are spreading and how they are spreading."

"Part of the problem that we have sometimes is that we are too wedded to one approach without keeping all approaches on the table," Wilson said. "This problem took years to develop. It's going to take some time to figure out how to combat it. They (the governor's task force) are looking at a true in-depth study."

Other measures unveiled Tuesday include one that would create a process for the State Parole Commission to review the status of people who are still in prison at the age of 65.

The bill would allow the commission to grant conditional release due to medical or mental disabilities, such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease, if the person no longer poses a threat to public safety.

Another measure aims to reduce recidivism and create better tools for people leaving prison to re-enter society. The bill would create a council to study ways of reducing spending on corrections and invest in strategies to reduce recidivism.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement