Minnesota Law Remakes Opioid Funding
(July 3, 2019)
Minnesota has passed a law to fund opioid recovery through fees on prescription opioid producers, according to the Star Tribune. Gov. Bill Walz signed the bill into law and called it “a visionary piece of legislation,” as it makes Minnesota the first state to create a separate fund for opioid response. It hikes fees on drugmakers and will generate a predicted $20 million each year. That revenue will then fund law enforcement efforts, opioid education for healthcare providers, overdose prevention, and tribal support for children of parents suffering from addiction. But these are not all the programs receiving funding, because the state is organizing the Opiate Epidemic Response Advisory Council to direct the future funds.
But the bill also gave relief to the lawmakers and communities who supported it. Many proponents, like Republican Rep. Dave Baker, have lost family and friends to opioid overdoses, and passing the bill after years of trying was a triumph. But it’s only a first step. “While today is a good day, our work does not stop here,” said Baker. Gov. Walz agreed, saying, “Implementation of this is going to be critical. Otherwise, it is a piece of paper.”