Ohio Dems criticize addiction services funding gap

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's Democratic candidates for governor and attorney general are calling on state officials to reconsider a funding change affecting agencies that provide addiction services.

The Associated Press recently reported that a change in the way the state is funneling federal money to local agencies is creating a $20 million shortfall over the next year.

The plan by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to distribute millions in federal money over 18 months instead of a single year is meant to address historic cash flow problems.

Gubernatorial contender Ed FitzGerald and attorney general candidate David Pepper questioned the timing of the decision at a Thursday news conference in Columbus.

They criticized the move and said the shortfall hampers the effort to combat Ohio's painkiller and heroin epidemic.

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