The local Street Crimes Response Team (SCRT) arrested Jason McNeely after many months of compiling evidence, regarding his involvement with buying and selling illegal narcotics. The SCRT spotted McNeely driving and coordinated with the Newport Police K9 Team and conducted a traffic stop on McNeely’s vehicle. Officer’s on scene quickly noticed a restricted weapon that McNeely wasn’t allowed to have in his possession. McNeely was detained at this point.
Officer Randall had his K-9 partner Nero search the vehicle and Nero gave several alerts indicating the presence of narcotic odor emitting from the vehicle. A subsequent search revealed the finding of Methamphetamine and drug packaging materials as well as a large amount of U.S. currency. Also located during the search was a loaded 9mm pistol and additional ammunition.
The Team took the information obtained from McNeely’s arrest and continued their investigation. As a result, Jose Guadalupe Gonzalez of Newport became a person of interest. The SCRT Investigators were granted a search warrant based on the information gathered. A search warrant was served on Gonzalez’s residence. Once inside, a large quantity of Methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging material and U.S. currency were discovered. Two minor children were also in the home. Gonzalez denied any drugs were in the premises.
The SCRT seized two pounds of methamphetamine and several thousand dollars in U.S. currency. Also seized was a 9mm handgun and ammunition. The success of these arrests were the result of a multi-month investigation into county wide methamphetamine trafficking by McNeely and Gonzalez.
McNeely was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail for, Delivery / Possession / Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and a Restricted Weapon. His bail was set at $500,000.00.
Gonzalez was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail for, Delivery / Possession / Manufacturing of Methamphetamine. His bail was set at $750,000.00. An investigation continues into Child Neglect as well.
The Street Crimes Response Unit (SCRT) is a newly developed team designed to augment the Patrol Division. This team specializes in the handling of community impact crimes, such as narcotics investigations, and does so by investigating these crimes thoroughly.
The SCRT is made up of members of the Newport Police and the Lincoln City Police Departments and often obtains assistance from the Toledo Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriffs Office. Newport Police drug detection K9 Nero also assisted with this investigation.
The Newport Police Department encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity they witness, as it may assist law enforcement. The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As wildfires become more frequent and intense throughout the West, protecting the communities we serve from this increasing threat, while providing safe, reliable power, is our highest priority. We are building on our work over past years to strengthen our system and implement additional safety measures to reduce wildfire risks.
As part of this effort, we are working with area emergency services agencies, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and community leaders across Oregon to expand and enhance existing emergency response plans and work in coordination with our communities. This includes some new actions we’re planning for this fire season.
We are enhancing vegetation inspections and vegetation clearance around our power lines or poles, increasing facilities inspections, making investments to improve equipment resiliency and fire-proofing, installing local weather stations, and training and equipping our field crews for wildfire suppression.
For areas at a higher risk of fast-spreading wildfires, we are establishing a new fire prevention measure called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. A Public Safety Power Shutoff is a new measure designed to help keep people and communities in high-risk areas safe, by proactively shutting off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions that can result in catastrophic wildfires. This measure would only be taken as a last resort to help ensure customer and community safety.
Pacific Power is working with local governments and emergency services agencies to update them on the conditions when this protocol would be used and seek their input on coordination should we need to deploy a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
Pacific Power is also launching a public wildfire education and outreach campaign starting June 24 to share wildfire safety and prevention tips and to inform customers of the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff measure. This will include public information workshops for communities in high-risk areas.
Customers can take steps now to prepare for emergencies by keeping vegetation around their homes trimmed and low and updating their emergency plans and supplies. Customers should also contact us to ensure their contact information is up-to-date, so we can keep provide updates about increased fire risk alerts, potential power outages and updates on power restoration.
Lincoln City Police Will Conduct Active Shooter Response Training at Taft Elementary June 24 & 25
The Lincoln City Police Department, in partnership with the Lincoln County School District, will be conducting Active Shooter Response training on Monday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in and around Taft Elementary School, located at 4040 SE High School Drive in Lincoln City. This training will focus on emergency response to an active shooter incident and is being coordinated by the Lincoln City Police Department. The training will involve a simulation of the police department’s response plan and procedures and will help assure a coordinated, timely and effective response in event of a major incident at the school or elsewhere in the community.
Citizens should be aware that there will be law enforcement and emergency vehicles present during the exercise and in order to avoid any confusion, the public is being notified ahead of time that this is only training and not an actual emergency. Taft Elementary will be closed to students and the general public. No students will be participating in the training. Access to the building for select school employees will be limited to those portions of the school not being used during the training. During the training, the south end of the school will be closed off to all non-participants or approved personnel for the duration of the training.
The Lincoln City Police Department would like to thank the Lincoln County School District for allowing us to use their facility and property for this very important training. The school district’s assistance and cooperation allows the Lincoln City Police Department to better train and prepare their officers for response to a critical incident such as this.
WYDEN BILL WOULD END TAX BREAKS FOR PRIVATE PRISON COMPANIES Companies that profit from detaining immigrants would pay taxes like other corporations.
Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to end tax breaks for companies that run prisons and immigrant detention centers.
“The private prison industry is booming, particularly with the Trump administration holding more immigrants in detention than any time over nearly the past 20 years. Companies that profit off of putting children in cages shouldn’t get tax breaks,” Wyden said. “My proposal is simple. Companies that make money from the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policy and a criminal justice system that disproportionately imprisons people of color are going to pay taxes like any other corporation.”
Companies that run prisons and immigrant detention centers, including CoreCivic and GEO Group, are organized as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which do not pay corporate tax on gains from real estate holdings. For example, profits from rent paid by the federal government for space to detain undocumented immigrants escape corporate level tax.
Wyden’s legislation would bar companies that run prisons and immigrant detention centers from receiving REIT status and require them to pay tax at the corporate and shareholder level, just like any other C corporation.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management Division has scheduled an annual county-wide test of their emergency notification systems for June 24th between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm and has recently released new Lincoln Alerts sign-up user guides.
County Emergency Management will test all components of the Lincoln Alerts emergency notification system in preparation for the seasonal wildfire conditions. A specific focus of the systems test will be on the Lincoln Alerts mobile app (powered by Everbridge) and the functionality of receiving information back from those who received the message.
Community members can participate in the county-wide test in the following ways:
Pre – test date:
Opt-in and create a Lincoln Alerts profile for each member of your household if you have not already done so. Update your current opt-in profiles to make sure your contact information and addresses are up to date. Download the mobile app and log-in (must have a Lincoln Alerts account first). During the test: Confirm the Lincoln Alerts test message on any of the devices in your profile or your residential or business landline phones. Confirm the mobile app message and send back a photo through the mobile app to County Emergency Management confirming the ability to communicate to public safety officials during emergency events. Monitor local media partner sites (radio, digital) during the test timeframe to confirm you received a notification through an alternative source.
Complete the County Emergency Management on-line participant survey to provide feedback on the test. County Emergency Management has several redundancies in place to push out emergency notification messages to those who may be in harm’s way due to emerging or imminent disaster situations. The county wide test allows County Emergency Management to test all features together just as it would be in a real disaster response situation. Those features include:
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley decry proposed rule changes that would rip housing assistance away from eligible immigrants and citizens.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week urged federal officials to reconsider a newly proposed public housing rule that could worsen homelessness and force some families of mixed citizenship status to separate.
The Oregon senators’ letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson comes in response to a rule proposed last month by the department that would prohibit families in which at least one member is undocumented from subsidized housing.
Current rules already prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing subsidies, but this new rule would prevent families with mixed status from living in subsidized housing. If enforced, entire families, including children, would be forced to vacate their homes.
“This misguided approach runs counter to HUD’s mission and breaks with the sensible policies the Department has had in place for over two decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations,” Wyden and Merkley wrote in a letter signed by 17 other senators. “This is nothing more than an attempt to advance a dangerous agenda that targets and scapegoats the immigrant community.
“This change does nothing to address the affordable housing crisis and may actually take assistance away from eligible immigrants and citizens,” they wrote. “Forcing American children into homelessness does not solve any housing issues, rather, it creates new ones and would likely end up costing more in homeless services and trauma-related healthcare expenditures.”
Also signing the letter were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
Toledo GP Mill – wants to try a new angle to recycle corrugated container board.
Georgia-Pacific this week reached out to the Lincoln County Commission and the city of Toledo to help them fund an innovative way to recycle various varieties of corrugated cardboard to extend the life of the materials that go into consumer packaging. GP Public Relations Manager CJ Drake said the state of Oregon is offering state-backed financial assistance, coupled with some other financial machinations, that would help GP better finance the project. Oregon state-sponsored Strategic Investment Programs are literally starting up all over Oregon where cities big and small are trying to bring economic growth to their home towns.
GP wants to build what it calls the Juno Project that squeezes out another step in recycling consumer containers. If the process works, and GP says there’s a lot of evidence it does work, it could extend the wood resources that go into box-making, technically saving money for everyone along the product purchasing continuum.
Drake told the County Commission that a partnership with Toledo and Lincoln County would re-arrange property tax payments within the Toledo city limits for a 15 year period while the new Juno Recycling System is built and perfected. To compensate for the partial loss of the growth in property taxes GP would agree to pay a Community Services Fee – how much and for how long would be determined by the county and the City of Toledo. GP would have to agree to the amount set by the city and the county. Public schools would not be affected.
Drake said GP is optimistic that the new technology can be perfected at their Toledo plant and make it even more financially muscular with resulting higher tax revenues to the county and to Toledo. Drake declined to predict how many new jobs would be created – if any.
There was a lot to think about – including the commissioners wanting to chew on the details a bit longer and have GP bring it back before them for further discussions that they hope will clarify the project.
Last August in the Rogue Valley, I looked up at a sun that was neon pink through the thick haze of smoke from wildfires. Families were told to stay inside to get away from the smoke, but even folks indoors experienced respiratory problems because their HVAC systems weren’t equipped to handle the severe pollution.
I’ve heard from business owners and organizations about how the smoke caused cancelled reservations and shows. Others have told me about how smoke pollution has been absorbed by their products and goods, causing irreparable damage and significant financial losses. Overall, businesses in Oregon lost an estimated $51.1 million in revenue due to wildfire smoke in 2017 alone.
Wildfire smoke is a serious public health and economic issue that requires a creative and multi-faceted solution. We need take on the root causes of today’s megafires — from tackling climate chaos to investing in more fire-resilient forests — while ensuring that Oregonians get the help they need right now to deal with the menace of wildfire smoke. This week, I’m introducing a package of bills to help the public, businesses and agricultural operations combat the effects of wildfire smoke, and recover from the damage it causes.
At various points last year, the air in both Portland and Medford was ranked among the lowest quality in the world — leaving Oregonians without heavy-duty air filtration systems especially at risk. That’s why the first of this week’s four bills, the Smoke-Ready Communities Act, would provide federal funding to help local communities invest in stronger air filtration systems in schools, public buildings, and the homes of vulnerable Oregonians — to make sure that every Oregonian has a safe refuge from hazardous outdoor air quality.
Much like victims of other natural disasters like floods or hurricanes, Oregonians deserve federal assistance to provide communities and businesses with relief from wildfire smoke. The second bill, the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, would allow for the declaration of “smoke emergencies” to authorize additional funding to protect both the health of families and the health of our economy. This legislation would support smoke shelters and relocation efforts when necessary to protect our communities, and critically, would provide financial relief to business owners whose bottom lines are hit by smoke — from winegrowers whose grapes are tainted to hotels dealing with lost revenue from a drop in tourism.
This package of bills also includes the Farmworker Smoke Protection Act, which would ensure that farmworkers are provided with face masks or other equipment to protect them while working outdoors in smoky conditions, and the Smoke Planning and Research Act, which would invest in building local research capacity; authorize $20 million in smoke-related public health research; and help local communities plan and respond to wildfire smoke.
Please know that I’m going to keep fighting to protect Oregonians and our local economies from catastrophic wildfire smoke, while tackling the climate chaos that is causing drier, warmer summers and fueling the fires in the first place.
Duane J. Silbernagel Financial Advisor Waddell & Reed 541-614-1322
Many investors may be inclined to review their portfolios only when markets hit a rough patch, but careful planning is essential in all economic climates. So whether the markets are up or down, periodically reviewing your portfolio with your financial professional can be an excellent way to keep your investments on track, and midway through the year is a good time for a checkup. Here are three questions to consider.
1. How have my investments performed so far this year?
Review a summary of your portfolio’s total return (minus all fees) and compare the performance of each asset class against a relevant benchmark. For example, for stocks, you might compare performance against the S&P 500 (for domestic large caps), the Russell 2000 (for small caps), or the Global Dow (for global stocks). For mutual funds, you might use the Lipper indexes to see how your funds performed against a relevant benchmark. (Keep in mind that the performance of an unmanaged index is not indicative of the performance of any specific security; you can’t invest directly in an unmanaged index.)
Consider any possible causes of over- or underperformance in each asset class. If any result was concentrated in a single asset class or investment, was that performance consistent with the asset’s typical behavior over time? Or was recent performance an anomaly that bears watching or taking action?
In addition, make sure you know the total fees you are paying (e.g., mutual fund expense ratios, transaction fees), preferably as a dollar amount and not just as a percentage of assets.
2. Do I need to make adjustments?
Review your financial goals (e.g., retirement, college, home purchase) and the market outlook for the remainder of the year to determine whether your investment asset mix for each goal continues to meet your time frame, risk tolerance, and overall needs. Of course, no one knows exactly what the markets will do in the future, but by looking at current conditions and projections for interest rates, inflation, and economic growth, you might identify factors that could influence the markets in the months ahead. With this broader perspective, you can update your investment strategy as needed.
Remember, even if you’ve chosen an appropriate asset allocation strategy for various goals, market forces may have altered your mix without any action on your part. For example, maybe your asset allocation preference is 60% stocks and 40% bonds, but now due to investment returns your portfolio is 75% stocks and 25% bonds.
To return your asset mix back to its original allocation, you may want to rebalance your investments. This can be done by selling investments in the overrepresented classes and transferring the proceeds to the underrepresented asset classes, or simply by directing new contributions into asset classes that have been outpaced by others until the target allocation is reached. Keep in mind that rebalancing may result in commission costs, as well as taxes if you sell investments for a profit.
Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss; it is a method used to help manage investment risk.
3. Am I maximizing my tax savings?
Taxes can take a bite out of your overall investment return. You can’t control the markets, but you can control the accounts you use to save and invest, as well as the assets you hold in those accounts and the timing of when you sell investments. Dividing assets strategically among taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-exempt accounts may help reduce the effect of taxes on your overall portfolio.
In sum, by taking the time to periodically review your portfolio in good economic times as well as bad, you can feel confident knowing that your investing strategy is attuned to current market conditions and your overall needs.
All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website: www.duane.wrfa.com
Thank you for your interest.
Duane Silbernagel is a Financial Advisor in Lincoln City, Oregon offering securities through Waddell & Reed, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. He can be reached at (541) 614-1322 or via email at DSilbernagel@wradvisors.com. This article is meant to be general in nature and should not be construed as investment or financial advice related to your personal situation. The article was written by an independent third party, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. (Copyright 2019) and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Waddell& Reed is not affiliated with www.newslincolncounty.com website and is not responsible for any other content posted to this website. (06/19)
Neighbors For Kids (NFK) is pleased to announce the Kids Zone Summer Day Camp will be offered from June 17 – August 30, Monday thru Friday, 8:00-5:30. Staff will provide fun weekly-themed activities, healthy meals and field trips this summer. NFK is a sponsor of the Summer Food Service Program, so all children ages 1-18 from the community can enjoy a free lunch between 12:00-1:00.
This year’s themes include; Let’s Go Fly a Kite!, Folklore, Fairytales and Super Heroes, Big Bang!, Pirates and other Local Legends, Space Travel to the Stars, Dance Camp, Hunt for Bigfoot, Where’s Waldo Week, Surviving on a Deserted Island, Bridges, Boats and all that Floats, and Whale’s Tales. The popular surf camp will also be offered several Friday’s this summer.
The regular program is open to ages 6-18 and kids can drop in for a day or can attend up to 5 days per week. The Little Kids Zone Preschool for ages 3-5 will also operate all summer long. There are half-day or full-day options available. NFK has daily transportation available from Newport and Lincoln City locations, but there are limited seats per trip, so parents may need to provide their own transportation.
Learn to surf, too!!
For more information or to register your child, please call 541-765-8990 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. The Kids Zone site is located at 634 SE Highway 101 in Depoe Bay. NFK is an equal opportunity provider.
Lincoln City – On June 1, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital launched an orthopedic surgery program in partnership with Synergy Surgicalists, a nationwide company focused on expanding general and orthopedic surgery services in rural communities.
Designed to increase access to quality orthopedic care close to home, a team of three orthopedic surgeons will provide care at Samaritan Coastal Clinic and the hospital, ensuring care for patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We are so pleased to once again offer complete orthopedic care at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital,” said SNLH Chief Executive Officer Lesley Ogden, MD. “The advantage of working with a team of orthopedic surgeons, rather than an individual surgeon, is continuous coverage for orthopedic medical appointments, consultations, planned surgeries and emergency surgeries at our hospital. This partnership allows us to bring three talented surgeons, each with different clinical strengths, into our community.”
For more information about the comprehensive orthopedic services now available in Lincoln City, call 541-557-6477.
Yachats Farmers Market Sunday June 9th at the Yachats Commons
The annual Yachats Farmers Market that runs every Sunday through late October returns this Summer in Yachats, on 4th Street, extending west from Highway 101. The market, with a twenty year record of providing fabulously farm fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other great foods both raw and processed. Homebrew jams and jellies, homemade breads and pastries, leather works, clothing and dog treats. Even best selling books will be on display. Also on the agenda are arts and crafts to delight the eye and the heart and of course live music from a variety of musical genres. And there’s even an electronic and very visual portrayal of some quite haunting graphics and images and photos guaranteed to shake things up for all who focus and gaze on the big screen.
Again the Yachats Farmers Market will launch it’s third market for the season this Sunday, June 9th, from 9am to 2pm on 4th Street, right next to the Yachats Commons. The market will make it’s summer run through third weekend in October so you can bet you’ll see it all, taste it all and enjoy it all down at the Yachats Farmers Market!!
Throughout the spring and summer we plan to get first hand testimony about what it’s like to be a farmer, or purveyor of exotic or not-so-exotic foods and tasty treats and the challenges and satisfaction these laborers of the earth enjoy bringing such outstanding edibles to market. And the arts and crafts offerings will be quite illuminating if not astonishing.
Again, Yachats Farmers Market is open for business this Sunday, June 9th, on 4th street right off 101, next to the Yachats Commons Building.
Forest Service Road 1790 to close June 17 – August 31
Hebo, OR – Forest Service Road 1790 will close temporarily from June 17th through August 31st, while an undersized culvert is replaced with a structure that fish are able to pass through. The road, 10.3 miles southeast of Lincoln City off Forest Service Road 17, provides access to Drift Creek Organizational Camp, which will be closed during this time.
During this road closure, visitors will not be able to access a portions of Drift Creek and North Creek limiting fishing access. Visitors wanting to fish in these creeks can gain access along the Siletz Highway, at the confluence of Drift Creek and the Siletz River.
The installation of the new fish passage is the culmination of years of collaboration with Friends of Drift Creek, MidCoast Watersheds Council, Native Fish Society and several other project funders. The project aims to address fish passage and improve access to spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids, as well as improve nutrient and sediment transport. To learn more about the project, visit https://nativefishsociety.org/campaigns/north-creek-campaign
For more information about the road closure, contact the Hebo Ranger District at 503-391-5100 or check the web for current conditions at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/siuslaw/recreation. For alerts and notices, follow us @SiuslawNF or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/siuslaw.
The City of Newport operates a stormwater system and the stormwater collected from is typically piped in developed areas and discharged into the nearest natural water body. Currently, the stormwater utility is run from a joint fund with the Streets Fund. The City is separating the two utilities to ensure that the stormwater utility is self- sufficient in the future.
In 2017, the City authorized the FCS Group to conduct a utility rate study. At the October 15, 2018 City Council meeting, Council adopted Resolution No. 3803, setting the effective dates of December 1, 2018 for water and sewer rates increase, and July 1, 2019 for the new stormwater fee.
To complete the transition to a self-sufficient utility, and as part of the utility rate study the City restructured the monthly Stormwater rates from a rate per meter to an equivalent service unit (ESU) basis. This change creates a rate structure that is common in the stormwater industry and shifts revenue collection from single family to non-single family, commensurate with associated impervious surface area and therefore, the demand placed on the stormwater system.
Under the proposed new rate structure, all non-single family customers are charged based on the total amount of impervious surface area (ISA) onsite. The average single- family residential lot has 2,700 square feet so that is the base. To calculate the total impervious surface area for a non-residential lot, the ISA is divided by the base to get
the number of ESUs for that site. This new rate structure will be implemented beginning with the July 2019 utility billing.
Sometime during the week of June 10, 2019, a letter outlining the Impervious Surface Area (ISA) and a calculated ESU for your location will arrive in the mail for your review. Further instructions will be included in the letter.
Finally, please note…single-residence homes will not receive a letter for this process because they are considered one ESU only.
For more information, please e-mail Richelle Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Mike Murzynsky at email@example.com.
Foundation Report Highlights Donor Impact on Local Health Care
(Corvallis, Ore. – June 11, 2019) – In 2018, donors to Samaritan Health Services gave nearly $4 million toward a variety of health-related programs and projects, helping Samaritan meet its mission of building healthier communities together.
The 2019 Samaritan Foundations Annual Report recognizes the meaningful impact that was made thanks to donor and community support over the past year. Through stories and photos that show the meaningful impact of donor support, the report highlights how community support aligns with Samaritan’s organizational priorities of quality and service excellence, employee engagement, community partnership and sustainability. Every gift makes a profound impact, from new equipment and services for patient care, to early childhood education in an underserved area to arts supplies for employee and patient activities. The 2019 report can be found online at samhealth.org/FoundationReport. It includes a weblink to a donor survey, through which all feedback is welcomed.
For more information, contact your local hospital foundation:
Albany: 541-812-4819 or samhealth.org/AGHF Corvallis: 844-768-4256 or samhealth.org/GSHF Lebanon: 541-451-6303 or samhealth.org/LCHF Lincoln City: 541-996-7102 or samhealth.org/NLHF Newport: 541-574-4745 or samhealdh.org/PCHDF
In recent years, as I’ve traveled to every corner of Oregon to host an annual town hall meeting in each county, I have heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians who have lost loved ones after a prescription for an injury or treatment turned into an addiction. Others are watching as family members, neighbors, and friends struggle to find resources to help them recover.
Now, we know that drug companies caused and fueled this epidemic by intentionally downplaying the addictiveness of opioid drugs, and pushing to keep patients on powerful painkillers. Instead of warning doctors about addiction risks, pharmaceutical companies continued to flood the streets with far more opioids than could ever be responsibly consumed in order to maximize their profits. That’s unacceptable, and we need to hold these corporations responsible for their reckless behavior.
That’s why I’m introducing legislation that would impose fees on drug companies based on how many opioids they sold since 1999 — the year the opioid crisis slowly began to build — to fund substance abuse prevention and treatment. The Opioid Treatment Surge Act will use these fees, totaling $2 billion per year, to more than double funding to the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program — including another $23 million per year for Oregon.
It’s time for drug companies to take responsibility for creating this crisis by paying to treat the addictions they caused. Approximately 1.7 million Americans struggle with substance abuse disorders stemming from prescription drugs, and more than 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day — while pharmaceutical corporations have made billions. As communities struggle to provide critical resources to prevent and treat substance abuse, it’s only right that the companies who made massive profits from selling opioids help fund the solution.
I also understand that, for many people, prescription opioids are essential for maintaining a quality of life. I believe we can and must both treat this addiction epidemic as the national medical emergency that it is, and also maintain access to prescription opioids for patients who need them to manage the debilitating effects of cancer, nerve damage, back injuries, and other sources of chronic pain.
America can’t afford to wait another moment before acting swiftly to address the opioid addiction epidemic. Please know that I will continue to force the pharmaceutical industry to put consumers first, and am committed to supporting those in our communities struggling with opioid addiction.