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Nov 14, 2015 11:03 AM

Special session likely to result in drug-focused task force

The Associated Press

CONCORD— State lawmakers are poised to create a task force to study a handful of substance abuse proposals when they return Wednesday for a special session.

The goal is to vet ideas from Gov. Maggie Hassan and others so lawmakers can vote on legislation quickly when the session kicks off in January. Although Hassan wanted lawmakers to take up legislation during the special session, she and Democrats say the task force is a positive step forward.

Republicans say the Legislature must carefully study the issues before rushing ahead with policy changes.

Issues on the task force's plate, if approved, include: Insurance coverage for substance abuse, drug courts, beefing up law enforcement, penalties for dealing fentanyl, strengthening the drug monitoring program and better educating doctors who prescribe opioids.

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