FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2019
Salt Lake City, UT – Yesterday, a story about Senator Vickers’ business interests in the pharmaceutical industry broke. Sen. Vickers, the Senate Majority Leader, has two family-owned pharmacies in Iron County which distribute 34 percent of the County’s opiates–more than even Walmart’s pharmacy. Iron County, like many rural communities, is currently struggling with the opioid crisis. Sen. Vickers was a key player in the Prop 2 compromise and voted for the Prop 3 replacement bill, SB96.
Chase Thomas, executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah, gave the following statement:
“With a part-time citizen Legislature, issues with perceived or actual conflicts of interest will continue to arise, especially given Utah’s lack of strong laws addressing such conflicts and ethics.
“The problem in this case is that Vickers worked to undermine Props 2 and 3, directly impacting the quality of healthcare available to people in rural areas where the opioid abuse is a serious problem. Rural Utah in particular is hurting right now because of the compounding impacts of available jobs, an underfunded healthcare system, and the opioid crisis. Rural healthcare providers have repeatedly drawn the link between opioid abuse and limited access to healthcare. By passing Props 2 and 3, Utahns took a stand for helping their neighbors. By whittling them down to fit the conservative ideology of Sen. Vickers and other majority leaders, Utahns all across the state lost out.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.