DE PERE – Gov. Scott Walker signed a series of bills into law Monday, boosting a bipartisan agenda designed to combat the opiate abuse and addiction crisis. 

Walker signed 11 special session bills at three sites around the state as a part of the Heroin, Opiate, Prevention and Education, or HOPE, agenda passed by the state Legislature. He signed four of the measures at the Medical College of Wisconsin on the campus of St. Norbert College. HOPE task force co-chairs Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, as well as other officials were in attendance. 

In all, the bills put into place additional funds to fight opiate abuse, implement stricter policies on the availability of certain drugs at pharmacies and further educate doctors on opiate alternatives and treating addiction. The bills were passed in a special session called by Walker earlier this year. 

“This is an issue that knows no boundaries,” Walker said. “And there should be no boundaries when it comes to fighting it.” 

The four bills Walker signed at the Medical College of Wisconsin focus on the medical measures to prevent and treat opioid addiction. They include: 

» A bill requiring a prescription for certain Schedule V drugs containing codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethylmorphine, diphenoxylate, opium and difenoxin, as well as drugs categorized as narcotic, but might not contain active narcotic ingredients.

» A bill allowing hospitals to receive grants for addiction treatments and other resources if they are practicing family medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, or internal medicine and are enrolled in an existing accredited graduate medical training program.

» A bill requiring the Department of Health Services to add at least two…