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NEW: Hodgson Calls for Action from AG on Overdose Epidemic

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

 

State Senator Dawson Hodgson, Republican candidate for Attorney General, has called for the use of Google settlement funds to address Rhode Island’s ongoing heroin overdose epidemic which has claimed at least 75 lives in Rhode Island this year.

“Leadership means showing an urgency to address this situation.” said Senator Hodgson, “In a resource starved governing environment, the Attorney General is in a unique position to show decisive leadership here. Instead he just sits on the sidelines. When I am elected, I will work with the Department of Health to protect the safety of all Rhode Islanders, and put these public resources to the use they are intended, to save lives. There is no excuse for this delay."

Senator Hodgson first proposed taking action on the overdose epidemic on February 25th, when his campaign released an Action Plan for utilizing Google settlement funds held by the Department of Attorney General to address immediate and longstanding safety and justice issues facing Rhode Island.

The funds, approximately $60 Million in total, were a windfall granted to the Rhode Island Attorney General in 2012 as a result of United States Attorney Peter Nehrona's successful prosecution of Google for advertising of illegal prescription drugs online.

"The Justice Department distributes resources like this to law enforcement organizations in order to meet pressing justice and safety needs of their jurisdiction" said Senator Hodgson. "Rhode Island has longstanding and neglected needs in this area. It is important to have a plan in place to put these resources to use in an effective, timely, transparent, and responsible way. The framework I have assembled and will implement when I am elected Attorney General will make a strong and immediate impact on justice and safety for Rhode Island."

 

Related Slideshow: Breakdown of Overdose Deaths in RI - 2009 to 2014

Prev Next

2009

Total overdose deaths: 137

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 22

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 84

Illicit drugs only: 31

Prev Next

2010

Total overdose deaths: 152

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 36

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 82

Illicit drugs only: 24

Prev Next

2011

Total overdose deaths: 175

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 41

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 93

Illicit drugs only: 41

Prev Next

2012

Total overdose deaths: 182

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 34

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 85

Illicit drugs only: 63

Prev Next

2013 (First Half)

Total overdose deaths: 118*

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 23

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 40

Illicit drugs only: 55

*Data only available for first half of 2013

Prev Next

2014

Total overdose deaths: 

Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 

Pharmaceutical drugs only: 

Illicit drugs only: 

 
 

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Comments:

First, the Justice Department controls the funds and only authorizes their use once they are approved uses, consistent with the settlement terms; Second, last time Dawson offered his plan, he already exceeded the $60 million that exists. He was over budget.

So much for fiscal responsibility.

This guy is so desperate for attention he doesn't care if he makes sense or stays consistent with his previous positions.

Comment #1 by Thomas Ryan on 2014 04 08

"First, the Justice Department controls the funds and only authorizes their use once they are approved uses, consistent with the settlement terms..."

And only authorizes their use once they are approved uses? The guidelines are fairly well set, I have directed this forum them prior. There are also opportunities to stray from the guidelines, and that requires Justice Department permission. We have seen that in the case of North Providence. In this instance, it is easy to see how this suggestion would fall into the "law enforcement" and could likely be accomplished without DOJ permission.

Comment #2 by David Allen on 2014 04 09

Dawson Hodgson is a State Senator, what has he done as a State Senator to respond to this overdose epidemic? What bills has he drafted? What resources has he committed to this serious issue? Stop playing politics and step up to the plate.

The total of Dawson's Plan (pre-this new proposal) is 58 million. The media has reported that Kilmartin has spent approximately 6.5 million. By a conservative estimate, that means the price tag on Dawson's plan is 64.5 million (4.5 million over budget before this press release).

David, you've now conceded the reality that DOJ controls the fund. I'd suggest you familiarize yourself with those terms before posting.

Dawson is more interested in press coverage than serious policy making.

Comment #3 by Thomas Ryan on 2014 04 10




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