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News Scan

House Set to Vote on Opioid Measures:  House Republicans are scheduled to vote this week on 18 bills addressing the opioid addiction epidemic devastating communities across the country.  David M. Herszenhorn of the NY Times reports that some of the bills include measures that would make it easier for doctors to treat patients with opioid addiction; give law enforcement officers greater authority to interdict drug trafficking; offer greater protections for veterans and children affected by the epidemic and require the federal government to conduct studies evaluating the nation's capacity for opioid addiction treatment.  The bills, if approved, will be packaged together and then reconciled with similar legislation adopted in the Senate.

SF to Expand Sanctuary City Law:  Elected officials in San Francisco are voting Tuesday on whether to pass an ordinance that would expand the city's sanctuary city laws, which would further tie the hands of law enforcement and increase protections for illegal immigrants.  Michelle Moons of Breitbart reports that the measure, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, is being considered by the Board of Supervisors and would prevent local law enforcement from providing an inmate's personal information or release date to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Avalos says the ordinance was proposed in response to "xenophobic" sentiment.  The proposal comes as the first anniversary approaches of the death of Kate Steinle, who was fatally shot on a San Francisco pier last July by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a criminal alien who had been deported five times and convicted of seven felonies.  Shortly before Steinle was killed, ICE requested a detainer on Lopez-Sanchez, but San Francisco officials denied it and released him.

TX Fighting Order to Reveal Execution Drug Supplier:  Texas is headed to an appeals court Wednesday to fight an order made by a judge over a year ago to disclose the source of its lethal injection drugs.  Michael Graczyk of the AP reports that while attorneys for condemned Texas murderers argue that knowledge of drug suppliers identities ensures an execution "comports with the Constitution" and verifies the drug's potency, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice contends that publicly identifying them would lead to imminent violence for pharmacies.  Texas currently receives its execution drugs from an unidentified compounding pharmacy, its source since traditional pharmaceutical makers refused to sell their products to prison agencies for use in executions.  The state has carried out 537 executions since 1982, six of which occurred this year.  The Texas appeals court is not expected to rule immediately in the case, and it's possible the decision could be appeals to the state Supreme Court.

Phony ACLU Estimate on Cost of Execution Drugs:  The ACLU of Northern California obtained prison agency records that it says suggests the state might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy execution drugs for lethal injections.  Maura Dolan of the LA Times reports that Ana Zamora, criminal justice policy director for the ACLU chapter, estimated after viewing a series of emails from 2014 that drugs for a single execution would cost between $133,080 and $150,000, instead of the approximate $4,193 stated in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's proposed lethal injection regulatory package.  However, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation president Michael Rushford says the drugs could be obtained at even less than $4,000 for each execution if the department used compounding pharmacies as its source.

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