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Jul 8, 2016 9:55 PM

Ayotte tells NH1 News she's optimistic CARA bill will pass Senate next week

NH1 News Political Director

MANCHESTER – Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she's optimistic that next week the U.S. Senate will hold “a very strong vote” to pass a wide ranging bill to battle the nation’s drug addiction epidemic.

New Hampshire’s Republican senator spoke with NH1 News minutes after the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday overwhelming passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which is known as CARA. The legislation passed by a 407-5 vote.

“I’m so pleased with the massive House vote in support of the CARA bill which I’ve worked on for over two years,” Ayotte told NH1 News.

The measure would provide resources to expand heroin and opioid misuse prevention and educational efforts. It would also increase the availability of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone for first-responders.

And the bill beefs up programs to monitor and track opioid prescription trends, and to identify and treat addicts behind bars.

An earlier version of the bill passed the Senate 94-1 in March. The legislation that sailed through the House on Friday was crafted by a joint House-Senate committee. The bill now heads back to the Senate.

“I’m looking forward next week to a very strong vote in the United States Senate,” Ayotte said.

Passage in the House was uncertain until Democrats dropped a demand that the legislation include nearly $1 billion in funding for drug treatment programs.

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