The Latest: Burwell calls for more funding for opioid crisis

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Posted: Jul 15, 2016 3:42 PM
The Latest: Burwell calls for more funding for opioid crisis

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Iowa (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell says the Obama administration will continue lobbying Congress for more money to help states fight the opioid epidemic.

Congress this week approved a bill that creates grants and other programs aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription pain relievers and heroin.

Burwell says President Obama will sign the bill but is disappointed it only provides a fraction of the $1.1 billion in funding he sought. She says the administration will press for additional money when Congress returns in September.

Burwell told governors that it's not clear how effective the bill will be without funding to deliver more medication-assisted treatment to addicts through state programs.

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1:45 p.m.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan says the growing number of overdose deaths from pain relievers and heroin "is the most serious public health and public safety issue of our time."

Hassan joined Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday in calling for more action to combat the problem at the state level.

The two helped develop a compact through the National Governors Association, which is currently holding its summer meeting in Iowa. So far, 47 governors of states and territories pledged to coordinate their response.

Baker says states are starting to figure out different approaches to curbing abuse, raising awareness and helping addicts recover. But he says "we have miles to go on this."

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12:15 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is telling governors that federal lawmakers rarely consider the potential impact their laws might have on state budgets.

The Iowa Republican spoke during the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Des Moines. The meeting attracted about half of the nation's governors.

Grassley told the group that "not very often, and maybe not at all," do the views of states get much attention.

He says "it's just so darn difficult" to negotiate bipartisan agreements, and that adding state concerns to the mix might doom such deals.

Grassley was responding to a question from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who asked how governors can make sure their budgets aren't harmed by major overhauls of the tax code.

Grassley says he doesn't have any advice but to "be aware of it and be active."

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11:20 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will focus his one-year chairmanship of the National Governors Association on the issue of cybersecurity.

McAuliffe says governors have a responsibility to protect the confidential information states keep on their citizens, including tax and health records. He says states are facing constant hacking attempts.

The Democrat says Virginia's computer systems have faced 53 million cyberattacks this year — one about every four seconds. He says two of his young children had their records stolen during a huge data breach last year of the health insurer Anthem.

McAuliffe says thousands of good-paying information technology jobs are unfilled in Virginia. He says governors can help create a pipeline to fill them.

McAuliffe says he hopes to share Virginia's security practices with other states.

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9:25 a.m.

A bipartisan group of governors is calling on Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite opposition from both leading presidential candidates.

The governors of Iowa, Virginia and Louisiana said Friday the agreement would help businesses export more products and create jobs.

They joined with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who's leading the Obama administration's efforts to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers.

The executives spoke at the EFCO Corp. in Des Moines, a maker of concrete support systems used to build buildings, bridges and other infrastructure around the world.

Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of the trade deal with 12 countries, saying it would hurt American workers. Hillary Clinton has also opposed the agreement.

The governors are in Iowa for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association.

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1 a.m.

Governors from across the U.S. are expected to discuss international trade and the opioid crisis when they meet in Iowa on Friday.

About half of the nation's governors are in Des Moines for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association.

A bipartisan group of governors is expected to join with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to call for the passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership. They say the proposed trade agreement with several countries bordering the Pacific Ocean would increase exports and create jobs.

Governors also will hear from experts on the spiking number of overdose deaths caused by addiction to prescription pain relievers and heroin, and discuss their plans to respond. They signed a compact earlier this week pledging to fight the problem.