By Joe Severino, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Addressing a crowd of about 200 people Friday at the University of Charleston, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., touched on a number of topics, ranging from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to the opioid epidemic, during a town hall meeting.
Manchin, who has been traveling the state while the Senate is not in session, held a similar event Wednesday in Huntington.
Prior to a question-and-answer session that lasted nearly an hour, Manchin spent about 35 minutes discussing recent legislation he has introduced. One of the bills would charge drug manufacturers 1 cent per every milligram of opiate produced in the country. He said opioid manufacturers should help pay for treatment for the addictions they have caused.
“Every milligram that you produce in your factory, you pay one penny. That one penny will produce over $2 billion a year, and every penny of that will go toward treatment centers,” Manchin said.
West Virginia’s senior senator said the fallout from the opioid epidemic is now affecting children in the state. The Gazette-Mail reported in July 2019 that 10,000 children in West Virginia public schools were homeless, a number Manchin said Friday he thinks is even larger. …