Evers and Baldwin highlight plans to fight the opioid epidemic in Wisconsin

(Image via Shutterstock)

By Pat Kreitlow

January 24, 2024

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is working on a bipartisan package to stop fentanyl at the southern border, while Gov. Tony Evers is increasing the supply of affordable housing for people who need treatment and recovery.

Calling it “a crisis that requires our urgent attention” and an “all hands on deck” situation, Gov. Tony Evers and Sen. Tammy Baldwin are announcing new initiatives to combat the epidemic of opioid use and the many deaths it has caused in Wisconsin.

Evers recently provided details on more than $750,000 in grants for seven state agencies that will offer affordable, secure housing in recovery homes for individuals and families grappling with homelessness because of opioid use. The effort is funded by a portion of Wisconsin’s McKinsey & Company Opioid Settlement Funds.

The goal is to provide stability that can allow recovery to be successful—and reduce the number of opioid-related deaths, which topped 1,400 in Wisconsin in 2022.

Baldwin, meanwhile, said she believes a bipartisan agreement on border security can play a large role in stemming the flow of opioids, fentanyl, and precursor chemicals—much of which comes from China via the border with Mexico.

Combining the anti-drug measures with a comprehensive border and immigration package “would strengthen our Border Patrol to be able to do a better job of interdicting these dangerous drugs, but also upgrading our technology,” Baldwin said on UpNorthNews Radio.

“We also have to face the demand side—prevention, treatment, and recovery services available in Wisconsin,” Baldwin said. “But this is a scourge and we need to do everything we can to prevent it from coming in from our southern border.”

That bipartisan effort in Congress is facing opposition, however, from Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnnson. A story in The Hill says tempers flared during a Republican luncheon on Tuesday, with some GOP members accusing leadership of embracing a deal that will make it harder for Republicans to keep control of the House or win control of the Senate in November.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.


Local News

Related Stories
Share This