Klarides Comments on Mass Overdoses in Downtown New Haven

Posted on August 16, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – Citing the mass overdoses in downtown New Haven by scores of people who used synthetic marijuana likely laced with an opioid, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today said the legislature should have strengthened penalties for those who sell opioids such as fentanyl when it had the chance.

House Republicans have repeatedly submitted legislation from the caucus that would have done so, but each time it has failed to gain final approval after support in committee.

“What has happened in New Haven this week should be a lesson for us all. These mass overdoses tell us that the sale and use of opioids and dangerous substances such as fentanyl is out of control. We need tougher penalties on the sale and manufacture of these substances if we are going to get a handle on this epidemic,’’ Klarides said. “It is not the only answer but it needs to be part of the solution.’’

A Yale New Haven Hospital physician told media outlets that the Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed that the drugs contained synthetic marijuana mixed with fentanyl, synthetic opioid about 50 times stronger than heroin. More than 70 people overdosed on the synthetic marijuana known as K2 on Wednesday. Additional overdoses have continued. The incidents have kept law enforcement and emergency responders busy in downtown  New Haven.

“Tougher laws on the sale of fentanyl in particular will enhance the public’s awareness on just how dangerous and prevalent this substance is,’’ Klarides said.     

The most recent legislation introduced, HB 5551 AAC Increasing Penalties for Dealing Synthetic Drugs, hiked penalties for dealing and manufacturing fentanyl substances. In 2016 a similar bill passed unanimously in the Judiciary Committee and cleared the House only to die in the Senate. Last year the bill passed Judiciary but was never called in the House.

The legislation would have reclassified fentanyl as a narcotic from its current status as a controlled substance. The change in classification would double the penalties to up to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Klarides called the legislation a straightforward approach to a problem that should  enjoy broad support.

  

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House Republicans File Petitions for Special Session to Address $10 Million Toll Study

Posted on July 30, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – All 71 House Republicans have submitted signed petitions calling for a special legislative session to address the $10 Million toll study that Gov. Malloy and Democrats approved last week with an eye toward re-installing tolls in Connecticut.

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House GOP Leader Klarides Responds to Gov. Malloy’s Pursuit of Tolls Study

Posted on July 17, 2018 by admin


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“Borrowing millions to study how tolls would impact commuters is frivolous if not ridiculous. We’ve seen other studies, we’ve heard from consultants. We already know the answer to the question he’s asking: it’s going to make it even more expensive to live in Connecticut. Republicans have spelled out how we’d fix roads and bridges—by prioritizing existing dollars. For those who view tolls as some sort of magic solution, it’s time to put a reasonable and concrete plan forward. They should tell us how much it’ll cost everyone, and where you’ll trim government to save money elsewhere. But, clearly, this governor’s new pursuit to spend millions we don’t have as he heads for the exit door shows he has no interest in cutting costs. History has shown the governor does whatever he wants. Taxpayers of this state can’t afford to subsidize whatever costly whims he decides to pursue over the next few months. What’s next? The installation of new judges we neither need nor can afford. We’ve had enough.”