Heroin: Scourge in Wisconsin

Big Crowds for Heroin Field Hearing

Emotional Testimony Heard in Pewaukee

Last Friday, Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with committee member Sen. Tammy Baldwin, held a hearing on the nation's growing heroin and opioid epidemic and how it relates to border security.

"In our more than 100-page report based on our 15 hearings on border security, I've concluded that the root cause of our insecure border is America's insatiable demand for drugs," said Sen. Johnson.  "It's given rise to these drugs cartels, some particularly evil people."

Sen. Johnson noted our insecure borders have also led to a dramatic decrease of the price of heroin.

"In 1981, the price of heroin was $3,260 per gram. Apparently, you can buy heroin in Milwaukee for $100 a gram. You get 10 hits per gram. Basically, you get a hit of heroin for the price of a good craft beer at a fancy restaurant. "

"We are losing an entire generation." -- Lauri Badura

Lauri Badura's submitted testimony included a photo of her son Archie who died of a heroin overdose in 2014. Archie's childhood best friend, John Paul, also just died of a heroin overdose on April 4.  

ER Doctor Praises PROP Act During Hearing 

Dr. Tim Westlake, is an Emergency Physician and chair of the Controlled Substance Committee for the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. He praised the bipartisan PROP Act (Act to Reduce Pressure to Overprescribe Painkillers), introduced by Sen. Johnson earlier this month,  as "the single most important piece of federal legislative reform that you could do."

Watch the entire hearing  here on Wisconsin Eye. 
Read witness testimony   here

Korean War Veteran Bestowed Congressional Gold Medal  

Sen. Johnson met 93-year old Dr. John Palese in Washington when he was in town to receive the highest civilian award given by Congress—the Congressional Gold Medal. 

Thanks to the tenacious work of our veteran services staffer, we were able to track down the papers Dr. Palese needed to prove he served in the Army's 65th Infantry during the Korean War, thus qualifying him for the Gold Medal that was given to all the members of that regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, last week. Dr. Palese served as a surgeon and worked on the front lines of both World War II and the Korean War. 

This is just one of many ways Sen. Johnson’s office can help.  Please reach out to us whenever you need assistance navigating the federal government.  

Ron's Weekend

Sen. Johnson is looking forward to attending the annual Boys and Girls Club WineFeast fundraiser in Oshkosh this weekend. It was at that event last year that he met Allie DeGroot, the 2015 Youth of the Year recipient. Ron was impressed with her story and the two struck up a friendship. When Allie mentioned her dream was to work for the FBI, the senator arranged for her to have a meeting with FBI Director James Comey during a recent trip to Washington. 

Sen. Johnson with Allie DeGroot at the Boys and Girls Club WineFeast last year.  

Read more  here in the Oshkosh Northwestern.