Combating the Opioid Epidemic

SOFA Act to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Sen. Ron Johnson introduced the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act Wednesday.

The legislation would give law enforcement enhanced tools to combat the opioid epidemic and close a loophole in current law that makes it difficult to prosecute crimes involving some synthetic opioids.

SOFA is the same acronym as an organization started by Lauri Badura of Oconomowoc. Lauri lost her son, Archie, to an overdose on May 15, 2014, and has worked to raise awareness throughout Wisconsin on the dangers of drug addiction.

"Communities across Wisconsin and America have been devastated by the epidemic of opioid overdoses," said Senator Johnson. "The SOFA Act will close a loophole in current law that is being exploited by illegal drug manufacturers. The bill will also give law enforcement the tools to quickly schedule fentanyl analogues as they are identified, preventing these drugs from sneaking around the law."

Welcoming Ukraine's New President

Sen. Johnson with Ukraine's President

As chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee's Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation, Senator Johnson traveled to Ukraine for Monday's inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

President Zelensky quoted Ronald Reagan during his inauguration speech, saying, "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Protecting the Homeland

Border Graph

Senator Johnson's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing this week about resources needed to deal with the crisis at the border, where hundreds of thousands of unaccomanied minors and people traveling in families have illegally crossed the border.

From the start of the federal fiscal year in October through April, more than 300,000 such migrants have been apprehended crossing the border illegally or have requested asylum at ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection will likely apprehend one million such migrants by the end of the year. The nature of the problem has changed fundamentally from earlier spikes in illegal border crossings: The migrants crossing today are mostly families and unaccompanied children, and under our current laws, they cannot be sent home quickly, as earlier waves of single young men were, to discourage any more people from making such a dangerous illegal crossing. Congress needs to take action, including a serious look at the resources and authorities that DHS requires to address the crisis and secure our open borders.

Senator Johnson has been tracking the significant increases and making the rapid rise in apprehensions clear in this graph. He also put the graph on plastic cups that he gave to other members of the committee at the hearing as one more means of laying out the scope of the crisis.

Closing the Digital Divide

Sen. Johnson with FCC Chairman

Senator Johnson led the Wisconsin congressional delegation in sending a letter to Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai encouraging him to improve the National Broadband Map as the federal government works to ensure resources are going to unserved communities that need it most. The letter stated, "We cannot solve our country's broadband needs until we have a full understanding of the problem. To get there, we need information."

Read the entire letter here.

Social Media Highlights

Manawa Schools visits Captiol

Polish Embassy Tweet

Wisconsin Mom of the Year Tweet