June 2014 Newsletter
In recent weeks, Sen. Levin held a forum on ways to increase access to a life-saving drug for treating heroin addiction; chaired a hearing exposing conflicts of interest that shortchange stock market investors; introduced legislation requiring an assessment of whether more Great Lakes waters should receive protection as national marine sanctuaries; and delivered remarks at a Capitol Hill ceremony honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
Forum seeks to boost heroin addiction treatment
For years, Sen. Levin has worked with Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah to help patients gain access to buprenorphine, a drug that helps break the cycle of addiction to heroin and other narcotics. Earlier this year, he surveyed Michigan doctors who prescribe the drug and met with several doctors in their offices, where they described "incredible" successes at helping patients recover from addiction. But along with that success has come frustration at several hurdles that limit patients' ability to get buprenorphine. So the senators held a Capitol Hill forum with physicians, addiction experts, Obama administration officials and recovering addicts to discuss ways to increase access to this life-changing treatment.
Hearing exposes conflicts of interest in stock markets
In an era of computerized, high-speed trading, a number of conflicts of interest have emerged that encourage financial firms to place their own profits above the interests of the pension funds, 401(k) plans and individual investors they are supposed to represent. Sen. Levin chaired a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing highlighting the need for reforms that end those conflicts of interest.
More news from Senator Levin
- Sen. Levin introduced legislation, inspired by the success of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary near Alpena, requiring an assessment of whether additional Great Lakes waters should be given protection as national sanctuaries. He also spoke at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation awards gala, where he received the foundation's leadership award, and at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week conference.
- In a Senate floor statement, he highlighted Adrian College's work to help students cope with student loan expenses as an example Congress should follow in addressing the rise in student-loan debt and the need to make college more affordable.
- He delivered remarks at a Capitol ceremony honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King with a Congressional Gold Medal and observing the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- With Michigan's Sen. Debbie Stabenow, he urged Secretary of State John Kerry to protect the Great Lakes from a Canadian plan to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron.
- With Sen. Stabenow, he announced a $1.7 million grant for Great Lakes habitat restoration and a $2.5 million grant for the Michigan Coastal Management Program.
- He announced his U.P. office will host a September drug education summit.
- He said the United States can only take additional military action to address the security situation in Iraq if its leaders take public steps toward healing their political and sectarian divisions.
- He welcomed news that the European Commission would investigate international tax avoidance by several multinational companies.
- He continued to speak out against a wave of U.S. companies avoiding their taxes by reincorporating overseas.
- He called for an end to the obstruction of a tax treaty that is important in stopping Swiss banks from aiding Americans who want to evade taxes.
- He joined community leaders and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy at the grand opening of Mt. Elliott Park.