Dec 15, 2015 1:16 PM

Drug task force to green light bills for expedited passage

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — Lawmakers are preparing to green light several proposals aimed at tackling the state's substance abuse crisis for quick passage when the Legislature returns to Concord.

The state's substance abuse task force is convening Tuesday to decide which bills should be fast-tracked, which should be up for early consideration and which should go through the normal legislative process. Fast-tracked bills will go through a joint House and Senate public hearing with the goal of coming to a floor vote by late January.

Bills suggested for the fast-track process would increase penalties for dealing with the powerful drug fentanyl, require drug education in schools, mandate use of the state's prescription drug monitoring program by doctors and require insurance companies to provide equal coverage for substance abuse services, among others things.

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