BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called President Donald Trump’s decision to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency a “strong step in the right direction.”

Trump made the declaration on Thursday in Washington.

“As a member of the President’s bipartisan opioid commission, the Governor looks forward to the final report and urges the White House and Congress to fully fund and implement the recommended prevention, treatment, and recovery proposals,” Baker’s office said in a statement.

Trump’s declaration did not bring new dollars to fight the opioid crisis, which kills an estimated 142 Americans each day.

It will, however, expand access to medical services in rural areas and shift some federal HIV money to help addicts, White House officials said on Thursday.

Baker said he is thankful for President Trump’s focus on the opioids issue.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has implemented several reforms, increased state funding for opioid treatment programs by over 50 percent and passed bipartisan legislation, including first in the nation prescription limits, to break the cycle of addiction here in Massachusetts,” Baker’s office said.


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