Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn hopes the General Assembly will put more funding towards expanding addiction treatment beds and confronting gun violence in the state.
Gov. John Carney is recommending about $6 million in grants to help at-risk youth living in poverty in next year’s budget. But Denn said wants the state to put even more funding into combating drugs and crime.
“You know with our finances being as good as they’ve been in 10 years, that it’s time for us to to make a lot of the investments in addressing the opioid crisis and some of the issues underlying our violent crime problem that we have not been able to invest in in the past,” he said.
Denn said he also wants to allocate more taxpayer funding to combat the opioid crisis. He’s asking for about $4 million to incentivize the building of more private rehab facilities.
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has requested more money for medication reviving victims of opioid overdoses, additional sober living beds and emergency room consultants.
Denn said he hopes Delawareans will contact legislators to pressure them to appropriate more money to these issues.
“You know these are issues that are affecting hundreds and hundreds of Delawareans every year," he said. "We had over 300 overdoses in 2016 and we don’t have the final numbers for 2017 yet, but they will be comparable.”
Denn has previously called for about $55 million in revenue available from last year’s budget to go toward helping at-risk kids living in poverty.
The Joint Finance Committee will start reviewing budget requests this month. The Delaware General Assembly must pass its spending bills and the governor has to sign them by June 30th.