Wolf anticipates more funding to fight opioid epidemic

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    More funding may be coming down the pipeline to address the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday.

    The money would be in addition to funds already allocated in the state budget.

    The governor initially asked for $34 million in this year’s budget for opioid addiction treatment. In the end, he got $15 million, plus $5.4 million from the federal government.

    Wolf said he thinks most lawmakers kept funding lower out of caution

    “My own sense is that the reason I didn’t get the $34 million was not because there isn’t bipartisan support for this,” Wolf said. “Because there is. It’s because people want to make sure that we’re doing the right thing.”

    House GOP leaders recently called for a special legislative session solely focused on the opioid epidemic, and Wolf said he supports the idea.

    There is a very good chance more funding will be appropriated when that happens, he said.

    The money that’s currently available is being used to create at least 20 “centers of excellence” around the state where comprehensive addiction treatment will be coordinated.

    The current funds could potentially stretch even further than initial projections, Wolf said, and ultimately be used to open more centers, which would treat nearly 5,000 people.

    State Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said Monday it is possible there could be extra money from Medicare savings and other efficiencies.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal