For 34 minutes Wednesday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin spoke to the House and Senate about the state of the state. Nearly every word focused on a single topic: drug addiction, reports the Burlington Free Press. “In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us,” Shumlin said. “It is a crisis bubbling just beneath the surface that may be invisible to many but is already highly visible to law enforcement, medical personnel, social service and addiction treatment providers, and too many Vermont families.”
As he pledged more state resources to fight the problem, Shumlin had many of those people in the audience cheering him on, a signal that the effort was well-coordinated. Police, mayors, prosecutors, hospital executives, legislative leaders and even the state's chief justice all stood behind Shumlin at a news conference after the speech. Support for the ideas cut across political lines, even as some were dubious of focusing virtually the entire speech on the topic.