Julie Killian and Sen. Terrence Murphy Propose Lock Box for Proceeds from the Opioid Surcharge
New York State Senate candidate Julie Killian (R-Rye), with Senator Terrence Murphy, has proposed the creation of a lock box for revenues derived from the opioid surcharge which was approved as part of the recently passed state budget. The surcharge holds big pharma accountable for the raging opioid epidemic and the lock box would protect the funds from Albany's budgetary shell games.
“Albany cannot be allowed to play games with funding meant to help fight the opioid epidemic. The surcharge will generate $100 million annually from pharmaceutical companies but we must make sure those dollars actually go to enhancing prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement efforts," Sen. Murphy said. “People are dying every single day and families are being torn apart by this epidemic. We're finally making the pharmaceutical companies pay for the damage they have caused but we can't let Albany's sleight of hand tricks keep that money from helping the people it is intended to.”
“It is unacceptable that money from this surcharge is not directly funding specific programs for prevention, treatment and recovery services for the people suffering from opioid and heroin abuse,” Killian said. “Talk about bait and switch! To fix this problem, once elected, I will propose creating a lock box for the money that is raised by this surcharge to ensure that it goes directly to effective programs that help people and families who are suffering from addiction in addition to programs that are focused on addressing the root causes of addiction.”
Sen. Murphy, who is a member of the New York Senate Task Force on Opioid and Addiction, and has been a staunch advocate on these issues in the Senate, has offered to co-sponsor the legislation with Killian. In the 2018-19 State budget, Sen. Murphy led the charge with other Senate Republican colleagues in securing record funding for the opioid and heroin crisis that will address prevention, treatment and recovery to the tune of $240 million.
Killian’s particular focus on the opioid and heroin epidemic draws from her advocacy in the substance abuse arena in Westchester County.
“The growing opioid and heroin crisis is one of the issues I am particularly passionate about. I co-founded RyeACT: Rye Action for Children and Teens to address substance and alcohol abuse in children and teens in 2011. Understanding and treating the root causes of substance abuse in the early years can mitigate life-altering, poor decision making in older teens and young adults,” Killian said. "Having advocated in this area for many years, I have a feel for the struggles that the victims and their families undergo. Each story is unique, but what they all have in common is that substance abuse and the complicated issues that surround it are horrific for the victims and their families, and the challenges often feel simply insurmountable. It is government's role to help lift that burden.”
According to federal data, deaths from drug overdoses soared from 36,450 in 2008 to 64,000 in 2016. And in Westchester County alone, according to the 2017 Opioid Annual Report published in October 2017, there 107 were opioid-related deaths in 2016 growing at an alarming pace from 59 such deaths in 2015.
The statistics are staggering. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. And on average, seven Americans die of a drug overdose every hour.
“We can and must do more, working together in a bipartisan way, to protect our children and families from this epidemic,” Killian said. “I look forward to taking a first step toward helping these families once I get to Albany!”
For more information on Killian’s ideas on Affordability, Opportunity and Security for all New Yorkers, please visit http://www.juliekillian.com/issues
Killian will run on the Republican, Conservative and Reform Party lines in the Special Election for New York State Senate District 37 on April 24th. Senate District 37 includes the towns and municipalities of: Armonk, Bedford, Bronxville, Crestwood, Eastchester, Harrison, Katonah, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, North Castle, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye City, Rye Brook, Tuckahoe, White Plains and Yonkers. For more information on the campaign, please visit www.juliekillian.com or follow us Facebook and Twitter @Killian4Senate
More on Julie Killian
For the last 25 years, Julie Killian has worked to make Westchester County a better place to live, work and raise a family. As a Rye City Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor, Julie led the fight to reform local government and held the line on property taxes. She also co-founded RyeACT (Rye Action for Children and Teens) to fight youth drug and alcohol abuse. RyeACT works with the federal government and regional partners to promote prevention through a positive cultural framework by training local leaders and youth, developing prevention messages and providing local access to drug and alcohol abuse prevention experts. Julie is also passionate about all mental health issues including reducing the stigma and increased awareness, helping the 4% of population that is severely mentally ill, and early intervention and prevention efforts. Born in Mt. Vernon, one of six siblings, Julie learned the value of an honest day’s work – and the importance of education – at an early age. As a teenager, she started a summer camp with her sister and waited tables at a pizza place at night, often working 15-hour days each summer to help pay for college. After earning a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from New York University, Julie spent more than a decade working on Wall Street in the financial services industry. She and her husband Gary have five children.