House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)
STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MONDAY, OCT. 23, 2017 .: The State House News Service

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MONDAY, OCT. 23, 2017


  • BAKER PREDICTS "STRONG DOCUMENT" FROM OPIOID COMMISSION

  • CONDUCT COMMISSION ACKNOWLEDGES COMPLAINT AGAINST JUDGE

BAKER PREDICTS "STRONG DOCUMENT" FROM OPIOID COMMISSION
Gov. Charlie Baker believes the Trump administration is serious about combating the nation's opioid epidemic, contradicting some concerns expressed Monday by former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy who said he's worried the White House won't follow through with serious response to the problem. Both Baker and Kennedy serve on President Donald Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The governor was in Washington last week for a commission meeting, and a final report is expected from the group on Nov. 1 with recommendations for how Congress and the administration could better combat addiction. Kennedy, who himself battled prescription drug addiction, told the Washington Post commission members are pessimistic that the White House will follow through with the level of funding and resources needed to meet the challenge.

Asked about Kennedy's comments on Monday, Baker said senior White House officials have participated in every call and meeting and he thinks the final report will be a "very strong document that will help move this conversation forward at the federal level.""I have not seen anything that implies to me the administration won't go ahead aggressively with this. Obviously, we need to give them a report," Baker said. Kennedy, according to the Post, said that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confided in him his belief that failure to adequately deal with the opioid epidemic could be fatal for the president, and that there is tension between Christie, who is leading the commission, and the White House over how much money will be needed. Christie, in a statement, denied Kennedy's account of the workings of the commission: "The comments attributed to me today by Congressman Kennedy are false. I speak for myself on this issue. Let me be very clear. I know that President Trump understands this issue and supports fighting this epidemic aggressively. In the days ahead, I am confident that the President's actions will speak louder than anything else." - Matt Murphy/SHNS

CONDUCT COMMISSION ACKNOWLEDGES COMPLAINT AGAINST JUDGE
The Commission on Judicial Conduct on Monday publicly acknowledged it has a complaint pending before it in connection with allegations made against District Court Judge Thomas Estes in a complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination by Tammy Cagle. "The Commission's investigation and consideration of the allegations against Judge Estes is independent of MCAD's investigation and is subject to the procedures outlines in its Rules and enabling statute," the judicial conduct commission said Monday in its brief statement. On Saturday, the Berkshire Eagle reported that Estes was reassigned in August to administrative duties in Holyoke after MCAD began investigating a July 24 complaint filed by Cagle, a licensed clinical social worker hired to help launch the specialty drug court program in Pittsfield. - Michael P. Norton/SHNS

-END-
10/23/2017


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