Confusion swirled around the halls of the State House on Thursday – had the 128th Legislature adjourned, or hadn’t it?

Just one week ago, people of faith had stood vigil in those same hallways, unfurling a long ribbon of 418 silhouettes representing each of the lives lost here in Maine during 2017 because of the drug crisis. In our prayers, songs and conversations, we pleaded with legislators to act now by funding emergency legislation that would save lives and expand access to substance use disorder treatment.

The Maine Council of Churches and our valued partners at Preble Street, the Health Equity Alliance, the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice and Moral Movement Maine worked hard this session to support good bills that would address the opioid epidemic plaguing our state.

We are appalled that the Legislature would adjourn without taking any meaningful action this year to help the thousands of Mainers suffering and in desperate need of help and hope. In the words of that beloved old hymn, we remind our elected leaders, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.”

It’s not too late to pass and fund bills that can provide that healing balm and make Maine’s wounded whole.

The Rev. Jane Field

executive director, Maine Council of Churches

Portland


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