INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement concerning Governor Pence’s announced drug abuse task force.

“While this crisis has been apparent for more than a year, this is an issue Governor Pence has been, to this point, jarringly silent on.

“Governor Pence is right, a comprehensive approach is the only path forward toward addressing our state’s drug abuse crisis.

“It’s also something the Legislature has had to drag the governor into the 21st century on.

“Senate Democrats have advocated for a comprehensive approach to address this rising crisis. 

“Candidly, I’m skeptical Governor Pence will do the right thing, when as recently as last year his idea of reform was building more prisons and doubling down on extreme sentences for low-level offenders.

“This same governor dragged his feet on implementing the Affordable Care Act for years, delaying access to critical addiction services.

“To break the cycle of drug abuse and addiction, Hoosiers need wrap around services. They need a criminal justice system with the underlying aim of putting them on the path toward recovery, not locking them into an unbreakable cycle of addiction and imprisonment.

“I’m hopeful Governor Pence and his task force will abandon the failed policies of the past and take a more thoughtful approach toward putting Hoosiers on the path to recovery.”