Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C,I-Deerpark) on Wednesday joined his Republican colleagues and members of the Senate at a press conference held by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) calling for passage of legislation to combat the state’s growing heroin and opioid addiction crisis before session adjourns later this month.

Assembly Republicans held a series of forums across the state last year to solicit input and feedback from people affected by the epidemic. Brabenec hosted a forum in the 98th District this past fall to gather input from Hudson Valley residents. New York City Democrat Richard Gottfried, chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee, recently said that he doesn’t believe any more legislation is necessary to address the state’s problem. Other Democrats have floated the idea of supervised heroin dens where addicts can legally shoot up.

“I have been harping on our state’s heroin and opioid addiction epidemic since I was elected to the Assembly almost two years ago, and Assembly leadership would rather vote on commemorating the anniversary of Cheerios than addressing this very serious problem,” Brabenec said. “Children are dying in the streets, families are being ripped apart, and we have comprehensive solutions that we unveiled months ago as part of our statewide community forums. Why they haven’t been brought to the floor for a vote when the Senate has already passed 41 bills and recommendations is beyond me. Each day of inaction is another day New York suffers from this dreadful disease.”

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