(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the $2.2 million she included in a 2010 spending bill for Washington state’s methamphetamine prevention has passed the full Senate. The bill provides $900,000 for the Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative (WSMI) and $1.3 million for the National Methamphetamine Training and Technical Assistance Center (NMTTAC)in Pierce County.
“We have made significant progress in the battle against meth use and this funding will ensure that we do not let up,” said Senator Patty Murray. “If we want to truly eliminate meth in our communities, we must continue to strongly support programs like these that improve education, treat addiction, and reduce use of this highly dangerous and addictive drug.”
“The Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative has proven to be a model that can be adapted nation-wide, and is subsequently being propagated through the newly established National Methamphetamine Training and Technical Assistance Center,” said Terree Schmidt-Whelan, Ph.D., Executive Director, Pierce County Alliance. “The NMTTAC constitutes a unique, strategic asset in our nation’s efforts to deal with a burgeoning drug problem, by combining grassroots efforts, collaborations with governmental agencies, evidence-based techniques, and professional assistance through state-of-the-art media.” The WSMI is a pro-active coalition of public and private groups that work in conjunction with federal, state and local agencies. The funding included in this year’s bill will help the WSMI to address new and emerging threats, such as gang-related drug activity, border trafficking and a growing number of Mexican drug cartels.
In 2007, Senator Murray worked to establish the NMTTAC in partnership with the Safe Streets Campaign, the Pierce County Alliance, and the WSMI. Their goal was to create the first major national meth resource center in the United States that could provide support and expertise to meth-impacted communities across the country. The center was also part of an effort to more aggressively target meth use within Washington state itself.
Senator Murray has been a long-time leader in the effort to increase congressional focus and funding to combat the meth epidemic.
The funding was included in the fiscal year 2010 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, which passed the Senate today by a vote of 71-28. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.