A southeast Missouri lawmaker who’s sponsored prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation for several years hopes to meet with the new governor to discuss addiction issues.

Sikeston State Rep. Holly Rehder speaks on the Missouri House floor in March 2018 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, says she looks forward to having a “great conversation” with Governor Mike Parson.

“He cares about mental health, he cares about our seniors, he cares about our veterans and he cares about our children,” Rehder says.

Rehder, who made a live appearance this week on Missourinet, says the opioid epidemic is having a major impact on the state budget.

“When it comes to our babies being born with opioid addiction, you know there are just so many areas that affect our state budget, that affect just the health of our people and our children being cared for properly,” says Rehder.

Rehder, who represents Mississippi and Scott counties, has noted that about 6,000 children were removed from substance abuse homes in Missouri in 2016.

Rehder has also noted that emergency room visits for opioids by Missouri Medicaid patients increased more than 400% in 2016.

“I really do look forward to having a great conversation with him (Governor Parson) and seeing just how I can be helpful in this fight because it’s definitely something that’s nationwide,” Rehder says.

Rehder has championed PDMP legislation. A PDMP is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state.

Rehder’s PDMP bill did not receive a House hearing during the 2018 session. The Missouri House approved Rehder’s PDMP bill by a bipartisan 102-54 vote in 2017, but the Senate passed a different version of the bill that year.

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