Senator McConnell invites Kentuckian to be his guest for State of the Union
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ)– U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has invited Lisa Minton, Executive Director of Chrysalis House in Lexington, Kentucky, to be his guest for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union.
Senator McConnell has worked with Chrysalis House to secure federal resources for treatment programs to assist women and children devastated by the opioid crisis in Kentucky.
“I am pleased that Lisa Minton, the Executive Director of Chrysalis House, has accepted my invitation to be my guest at this year’s State of the Union,” said Senator McConnell. “As one of the Kentuckians at the forefront of our ongoing fight against opioid addiction, Lisa is the leader of our Commonwealth’s oldest and largest licensed substance abuse treatment program for women. For more than four decades, Chrysalis House has been making a difference in the lives of mothers and their children, and I’m honored to have visited the facility to see first-hand the important work performed there and to help support its mission.”
“It’s an honor to be invited by my Senator, Majority Leader McConnell, to represent Kentucky at the State of the Union, and I want to thank him for his leadership combating the opioid epidemic back home,” said Lisa Minton. “With partners like Senator McConnell, Chrysalis House is able to continue expanding the services we offer to women and their babies. We recently opened our fourth residential treatment facility providing support to women in recovery through their pregnancy and motherhood. These women are the key to healthy families and productive communities, and we strongly invest in mothers as they put in the hard work to overcome addiction.”
Senator McConnell contacted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 to help Chrysalis House secure a competitive federal grant of more than $2.6 million. With these federal resources, Chrysalis House expanded their comprehensive substance abuse treatment program for low-income, pregnant, and postpartum women and their children.
“As the Senate Majority Leader, I have made responding to addiction a national priority. That’s why last year, I prioritized the passage of a landmark bill with four aims: to reduce the abuse of opioids, to encourage recovery, to provide support to caregivers and families, and to drive innovation and long-term solutions,” Senator McConnell added. “President Trump signed our law, the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” that includes new programs designed to keep families safe. For example, it takes steps to stop illegal drugs and synthetic opioids from crossing the border. The law provides states the tools they need to improve access to treatment and encourages educational programs in schools to help prevent addiction before it starts. Finally, it invests in the development of non-addictive painkillers and in research of mental-health factors that may contribute to addiction.”
Senator McConnell was proud to author two provisions in the bill that will have a positive impact on Kentucky and the nation.
First, Senator McConnell’s Comprehensive Addiction Recovery through Effective Employment and Reentry (CAREER) Act, which expands grants and targets funding for treatment, transitional housing, job training and placement services to help individuals in recovery find their footing and maintain sobriety. A recent study showed that between 1999 and 2015, approximately 48,200 Kentuckians left the workforce for an opioid-related problem. The decline in workforce participation not only slows our state’s economy, but it also contributes to increased poverty and strained government services.
McConnell’s “CAREER Act” encourages local businesses and treatment groups to form partnerships helping those in recovery find and maintain employment. It also supports transitional housing options for individuals in recovery while they work to secure a longer-term living arrangement.
It also included Senator McConnell’s “Protecting Moms and Infants Act” to help stop the heartbreaking effects of babies born into addiction. In 2015, he sponsored the first federal law to address prenatal opioid exposure, directing federal agencies to develop strategies in response to this tragedy. This provision goes further and instructs the agencies to report on their implementation of treatment guidelines. It also authorizes an increase in funding for a competitive federal grant that assists organizations with addressing this particular challenge within the broader opioid crisis.