Looks like there is hope, however slim, for some sort of detox treatment at the state level after the legislature forms its own interim committee to examine the failed efforts of the Department of Health and Welfare.
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee suggested a joint committee be formed to determine what needs to be done to improve the poorly run existing system. The move sounds good, but existing laws already give plenty of powers to H&W and mandate that meetings be held, reports made, etc. The law has been ignored, but a legislative audit nailed the agency late last year for inaction.
The agency failed to comply with the law after former Gov. Phil Batt pulled their funding from the budget 10 years ago. We find it absurd for legislators to pass laws, fail to provide funds, and then appoint committees to determine what NEW law they should pass.
Idaho–especially the densely populated and rapidly growing Boise area– needs someplace to treat druggies and dry out drunks…not just a jail treatment facility.
Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, the Ada commishes, Boise city councilors, and a bevy of concerned citizens have worked toward a plan, but so far all they have been able to do is squabble. Sheriff Gary is of the “lead, follow, or get out of the way” mentality and Boise City simply got out of the way due to problems with the sheriff’s funding formula.
The GUARDIAN would like to see Boise City and Ada County declare the legislature their common adversary and demand that state government abide by the law. Based on how the courts have ruled on school issues, we think it would be a slam-dunk to get judicial orders demanding that Health and Welfare follow the law and provide statewide treatment and detox centers for drug and alcohol abusers. The ACLU might be interested in joining the cause.
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