WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) joined his House colleagues Thursday (May 12) in voting for H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Reduction Act of 2016.
Before the vote, Westerman delivered the following statement on the House floor. (Statement as prepared.)
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
“I rise today in support of H.R. 5046. I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin for his work to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.
“This legislation impacts Arkansas by freeing up new grant funds for drug courts. Drug courts have a positive impact on people’s lives, and are integral to countering our nation’s opioid epidemic
“Drug courts in Arkansas have a strong record of success. The Jefferson County Drug Court has a recidivism rate of 4.9%. Drug courts have also saved billions of taxpayer dollars—on average, it costs $14 per day to send a person to a drug court, whereas incarceration costs $58 per day in Arkansas. Taxpayers also save money because these individuals can return to the workforce, and provide for the families.
“Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support H.R. 5046 to counter this epidemic that is ruining our families, lives, and communities.
“I yield back the balance of my time.”
H.R. 5046 passed by a vote of 413-5. Video of the speech may be found on Congressman Westerman’s YouTube channel.