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The Latest: Assembly passes pair of opioid bills

May 3, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on action by Wisconsin Legislature on anti-opioids bills (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

The state Assembly has passed the last two pieces of a legislative package designed to fight opioid abuse.

The first bill would allow involuntary commitment for addicts. The bill sets up the same process for them as for involuntary commitment of alcoholics.

The other bill would ensure someone who suffers an overdose would be immune from probation or parole revocation if he enters a treatment program. District attorneys would have to offer a deferred prosecution that includes treatment if the person is subject to a possession charge. The bill’s provisions would last three years and one month.

The Assembly passed the first bill on a voice vote Tuesday and the second moments later on a 97-0 vote. They now go to the Senate.

The bills are part of an 11-bill package designed to curb opioid abuse. Both the Assembly and Senate have already passed nine measures.

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3:30 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says he looks forward to signing a package of bills designed to fight opioid abuse in Wisconsin.

The state Senate gave final approval to nine bills Tuesday that are focused on increasing the effort to stop drug overdoses and fight to abuse of opioids, heroin and methamphetamine in the state. The bills passed with bipartisan support, even though some Democrats argued they didn’t do enough to combat drug abuse.

Walker reacted on Twitter with a message tanking the Legislature for passing the bills. Walker had called the Legislature into a special session to pass the proposals that grew out of recommendations of a task force.

Rep. John Nygren authored the bills and promised that the fight was not over.

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2:35 p.m.

The Wisconsin state Senate has given nearly unanimous approval to nine bills designed to fight the rise in overdose drug deaths caused by heroin and opioids.

The bills now head to Gov. Scott Walker who is expected to sign them into law.

Some Senate Democrats argued that while the proposals are a good start, they don’t go far enough. Sen. Janet Bewley calls the bills a missed opportunity to do more.

The measures would increase funding to train school staff to screen students for addiction, create a charter high school for 15 recovering addicts, create two or three regional treatment programs for underserved areas of the state and do more to train doctors in treating addiction.

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6:10 a.m.

The Wisconsin Legislature is poised to give final passage to a series of bills designed to fight addiction to opioids.

The proposals up for a vote Tuesday have broad bipartisan support. The Senate was set to pass nine bills that have already cleared the Assembly.

They would expand treatment programs and a high school for addicted students. The bills would also lead to more training for doctors in addiction treatment and pay for new state drug agents and training for school staff to screen students for addiction.

Passing the bills would send them to Gov. Scott Walker.

Two other bills before the Assembly would grant immunity from parole or probation revocation to people who suffer overdoses and allow addicts to be involuntarily committed.

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