Lawmakers comment on plans for substance abuse funds

Published: Mar. 3, 2019 at 6:46 PM CST
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Meth-related arrests continue to be an issue in South Dakota. Local legislators discussed funds set aside to combat the ongoing problem.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office annual report shows these arrests make up 70 percent of all drug arrests.

Governor Kristi Noem said during her State of the State address that funding is needed to educate people about the dangers of substance abuse. During the final cracker-barrel of this year's Legislative Session Saturday, one attendee asked what lawmakers think of the governor's proposal.

"I think what the governor is proposing is a great step for us as a state to identify state general funds that we'll use on an ongoing basis to address substance abuse and substance abuse prevention," says Sen. Alan Solano, District 32.

Other lawmakers expressed their agreement with the governor's plan. They said ensuring funds are in place now and in the future can help move the state in the right direction.

"It's something that we do have to address in an ongoing fashion. The opioid crisis may be happening elsewhere, but South Dakota has primarily a meth problem and so anything we can do from the appropriations and of things to help fight that I am in favor of," says Rep. Chris Johnson, District 32.

With this budget for substance abuse more resources can be used for education, prevention, and action against theses drugs.