2010-07-08 / Local & State

New Pa. Addiction Treatment Agency Nears Approval

By Marc Levy and Mark Scolforo ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Legislature is poised to approve a new cabinetlevel agency to deal with drug and alcohol addiction.

The Senate approved a bill 43-to-7 on Friday to create the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The bill goes to the House where it is expected to be approved later Friday or Saturday.

The sponsor, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, says the agency’s creation will improve the state’s ability to pursue federal grants and foster communication in the various governmental bodies that are affected by substance abuse.

Critics such as Sen. Jane Earll say the expansion of the state bureaucracy is bound to cost more money. Plus, Earll says the agency will be essentially powerless because it won’t have control over the money that pays for the programs.

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