BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Representative Elijah Cummings and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced a new bill at a roundtable discussion Friday in downtown Baltimore.
The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act would treat the opioid crisis like a public health emergency.
If the CARE Act passes, it would provide $100 billion over 10 years towards the fight against the opioid crisis.
At the roundtable, city and state leaders discussed how those funds might best be allocated.
“Addiction is a medical issue, not a moral failing. We need to treat it that way,” said Warren.
If the bill passes, legislators say Maryland would receive $48 million a year in grants to use in a multitude of ways.
“Congressman Cummings and I, we can’t do this work. This is not our expertise, but we're here to try and put wind in the sails for those who are doing good for those who need it most,” said Warren.
Several local support groups, charities and shelters were present at the meeting Friday, including Christian Charities, Bon Secours Hospital, Baltimore City Police and others.
Among the topics discussed for improvement were housing, training for providers, expanding programs to accommodate more people, and transportation to and from treatment.
This bill comes just as new data revealed this week that more than 2,000 people died in opioid-related deaths last year in Maryland.
The bill is already on the table. A spokesperson from Cummings office said the bill already has 80 co-sponsors.