Cities Welcome Passage of Cures Act, Applaud Opioid Provisions

WASHINGTON — December 7, 2016 — Today, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which authorizes access to $1 billion of funding to help communities combat the opioid crisis. The bill also provides long-overdue reforms to the mental health and criminal justice systems. The legislation was approved in a landslide by the House of Representatives, and now moves to President Obama's desk to be signed into law.

Last week, NLC and the United States Conference of Mayors sent a letter to the Senate urging swift passage of 21st Century Cures Act. In response to its passage, National League of Cities (NLC) President and Cleveland Councilmember Matt Zone released the following statement:

"The National League of Cities applauds the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which is set to help cities combat the growing opioid crisis that is gripping our nation. As local officials, we are on the frontlines of this health pandemic - one that leads to more deaths than car accidents. We have seen far too many lives lost and families torn apart, and we must put an end to it.

"While we are working tirelessly to reverse the trend of substance use disorders, we know that the only way to effectively stop the spread of this crisis is to work in collaboration with our counterparts at the state and federal level. The Cures Act goes a long way to lay the groundwork for strong partnerships at every level of government, and it is our hope that before the 114th Congress adjourns, it will appropriate the necessary funding authorized in the legislation. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to strengthen the health and safety of our communities."

NLC has been at the forefront of efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Earlier this year, NLC and the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched the City-County National Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic, which recently released the report, "A Prescription for Action: Local Leadership in Ending the Opioid Crisis." The report provides recommendations for how local officials should address the opioid crisis, and explores how cities and counties can strengthen collaboration with each other and state, federal, private-sector and non-profit partners. Access the full report.

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About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org