WASHINGTON, DC. — Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) led a letter with Pennsylvania Congressional colleagues to urge the state leaders to call the Pennsylvania General Assembly back in session to extend the life-saving Opioid Disaster Declaration. The letter — addressed to Speaker Cutler, President Pro Tempore Corman, and Leaders Benninghoff, McClinton, Ward, and Costa — implored that the General Assembly reconvene by August 26th to extend the deadline. 

The Opioid Disaster Declaration was first established in 2018 — after a tragic record of 5,403 Pennsylvanians died from opioids in 2017. The declaration granted the Commonwealth additional tools to combat the scourge of addiction. The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered this progress.

“Now is not the time to abandon this vulnerable population,” Rep. Dean said. “To do so will have tragic and deadly consequences.”

Allowing the programs and efforts set up through the emergency declaration to expire is not a workable option. Due to the recent changes in the Pennsylvania Constitution, the General Assembly must act within 21 days to extend this declaration. 

The letter was signed by Representatives Boyle, Evans, Scanlon, Houlahan, Wild, Cartwright, Lamb, and Doyle. A copy of the letter can be found here.