To the editor: Dakin introduces bill to tighten amounts of opioids prescribed

At the half-way point of the legislative session in Montpelier, we in the State House are working hard to resolve the many differing ideas and interests in order to reach the consensus necessary to keep our state government accountable, efficient and well-functioning.

Leigh Dakin mugshotWhen the session ends in May, Vermont budgets will be balanced, our transportation network improvement plans will be adopted, our students will continue to receive a quality education from pre-k to post-grad, our employment opportunities will be strengthened, the quality and delivery of health care will be maintained at a high level and Vermont will continue to be an attractive place to live, work and visit.

As a member of the House Health Care Committee, I am proud that our state has the second highest health insurance coverage in the country.  Our work will not stop until we can provide health and dental care in an affordable way to all Vermonters.

Even though we can be thankful that Vermont has a low unemployment rate, we continue to focus on the ability to maintain a good lifestyle for our hard-working families. The legislature has been supportive of growth of home-grown businesses and the start-up culture that has brought recognition to Vermont as one of the top five states in the country for start-ups.

While good jobs are important, employment mobility requires good education opportunities so that our students and workers are prepared for a work place that already has many jobs available.  We are reviewing our educational strategies in an effort to ensure that our schools are able to turn out a work force that is qualified to fill jobs in our region

A significant and challenging task, both for maintaining a healthy society and providing functioning employees in our workplaces, is to educate all of us on the agony and destruction caused by opioid addiction. The increase in the number of those addicted to drugs who cannot hold a job or maintain family obligations and who support themselves by criminal activities is frightening.  I have introduced legislation and have joined the ongoing discussions with others in the legislature on the tightening of the amount of opiates being prescribed by our medical practitioners.

The proposal to allow the sale of marijuana is not a priority of mine, as our legislature has many other important tasks to address and I am not satisfied that our state is prepared for the legal, health and social ramifications that will result from such legalization.  I look forward to your thoughts on this topic.

Last year, the legislature adopted Act 46, which allowed local school districts and towns to evaluate cost-efficiencies available through the consolidation of school districts throughout the state.  While Act 46 is going through growing pains, the towns of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Mt. Holly and Plymouth are participating in an evaluation of the possibility of a further school district merger that would, if adopted, replace all of the schools boards in our towns with one board.  I look forward to the Act 46 committee report and expect to be supportive of its recommendations.

I look forward to hearing from you on matters that we are addressing and issues that you would like us to address. You may call me at home at 802 875 3456 or contact me by email at

Rep. Leigh Dakin
Windsor 3-1
Andover, Baltimore, Chester and Springfield

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