by Evie Fordham
West Virginia House of Delegates member Caleb Hanna wants to fund a southern border wall with $10 million of his state’s surplus to combat West Virginia’s drug problem, he said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday.
“West Virginia has a terrible drug problem,” Hanna said Tuesday. “I believe that a lot of those drugs and opioids are coming directly from the southern border. I spoke to local and state law enforcement, and they say these drugs are so pure they can’t be coming from anywhere other than Mexico. So I believe that the wall is a crucial part in addressing West Virginia’s drug problem.”
Hanna and his fellow Republican delegates Carl “Robbie” Martin and Patrick Martin plan to introduce the bill that would transfer $10 million of the state’s $185 million surplus to the border wall that President Donald Trump has proposed, reported The Mountaineer Journal. The state surplus funds would not make much of a dent in the wall fund, though — Trump is asking for more than $5 billion.
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“So, the West Virginia Republican majority in the House has been very supportive of President Trump and his efforts to secure the southern border,” Hanna said. “So, I am happy to co-sponsor a piece of legislation that I don’t think just West Virginia will be happy about, but the American people as a whole.”
West Virginia had the highest drug overdose death rate in 2017, surpassing other states struggling with the opioid crisis including Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has struggled to combat an addiction epidemic fueled by illicit substances as well as an influx of prescription opioids.
Hanna, 19, is the nation’s youngest black lawmaker and was elected to West Virginia’s House of Delegates District 44 in November after defeating Democratic incumbent Dana Lynch.
“I always knew that I was not satisfied with the leadership I was getting within my own house district,” Hanna told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview Thursday. “I told myself if I ever had my opportunity to take that, I would give it my shot.”
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