Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $150,000 in funding he requested to combat the production and use of methamphetamine in Minnehaha County. The funding would be issued through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Meth Hot Spots program, which provides grants to train state and local law enforcement officers to investigate and lock up meth offenders.

"Meth is a very serious problem in South Dakota and in rural areas across the country. In addition to the costs associated with investigating, prosecuting, and locking up meth offenders, there are significant environmental clean-up costs involved. The ingredients used to make meth are toxic, and meth producers and users often dump waste into our streams, rivers, fields, and sewage systems. This funding will not only provide much-needed resources for law enforcement expenses associated with meth, but also for environmental clean-up to protect our lands and water systems from the harmful effects of this dangerous drug," said Thune.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed an amendment offered by Senator Thune to the budget resolution that authorized a total of $99 million in funding for the COPS Meth Hot Spots program. However, the Appropriations Committee only provided $80 million for the program, well short of the amount authorized by the Thune Amendment.

"While I appreciate the Committee providing important additional funding to fight meth in Minnehaha County, I am severely disappointed that the Committee has failed to fully fund the COPS Meth Hot Spots program," Senator Thune said. "I hope the Democratic majority will recognize the dire need to fully fund the COPS Meth Hot Spots program, and not shortchange our rural communities as they work to fight the impact of this horrific drug."

The Thune Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 budget resolution passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March 23, 2007.