Democratic Senators Make a Long-Shot Attempt to Free 'Rainy-Day' Money to Battle Opioids

May 17, 2017

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (at podium), who's running for governor, says that the money would be used for specific purposes, such as drug courts and addiction services.
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Democratic senators believe Ohio has reached a critical point in the opioid epidemic and needs to turn to extreme measures in order to tackle the problem.

It’s raining in Ohio, according to Sen. Joe Schiavoni. He wants the state to pull $200 million -- or 10percent of the $2 billion balance from its rainy day und to put towards opioid addiction treatment and services.

Half of that money would be divvied up among Ohio’s 88 counties to allow  local governments to decide where the funds should go. As Schiavoni explains, the money would have to stay in specific fields such as addiction services, law enforcement and drug courts to "deal with it the way they need to deal with it, not the way that politicians in Columbus say that they should deal with it."

Gov. John Kasich has been strongly against taking money out of this reserve.