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Governor signs opioid bills at substance abuse center in La Crosse

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Gov. Tony Evers has signed three bills designed to curb opioid use in Wisconsin.

The governor signed the legislation Wednesday morning at the La Crosse Lighthouse, an addiction rehabilitation facility off Highway 16. 

One bill signed by the governor creates three tiers of felonies for manufacturing, dealing and possessing fentanyl based on the amount.  The bill also increases the maximum prison sentence for the crimes by five years if the crimes occur in a public housing project or near a park, swimming pool, youth center or school.

Another bill decriminalizes the use fentanyl testing strips used to confirm a substance as fentanyl.  Such strips are classified as drug paraphernalia under current state law. The third bill calls for the creation of a state database tracking methamphetamine and opioid use.

The governor was joined by two area legislators, Jill Billings of La Crosse and Jesse James of the Eau Claire area, along with Department of Health Services secretary designee Karen Timberlake.

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