Governor Signs Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz has signed a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic in Minnesota.

Walz says the compromise bill “will help more families access the treatment they need and prevent addiction in the first place.”

The bill imposes sharply higher registration fees on drugmakers and distributors to raise around $21 million annually. Part of the money would go for grants to fund prevention strategies to reduce opioid deaths and overdoses.

Much of the rest would go to counties to help reimburse them for their growing child protection costs resulting from families being hurt by the opioid crisis.

Under the compromise, the registration fees would end once the state recovers at least $250 million from settlements with drugmakers after a minimum of five years. House negotiators wanted those fees to be permanent, while Senate conferees insisted on the sunset. Settlement revenues would go to response efforts

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