“Pretty meaningless” say activists about the million dollars Republicans put in a budget bill to address the opioid crisis. They wanted a penny-a-pill tax on drug manufacturers and blame Speaker Kurt Daudt for killing it in the Minnesota House. Shelley Ellington says, “Back in February I was in a meeting with Speaker Daudt, and he shook his fingers at those pharma lobbyists and he said, mark my words, this is gonna happen. You tell your clients to get their checkbooks out because we’re gonna do something here in Minnesota.”
Daudt responds since 2015 House Republicans have invested 22 million dollars to fight the opioid epidemic, plus no-cost reforms including improvements to prescription monitoring. Daudt is urging Governor Mark Dayton to sign a supplemental budget which includes additional funding — but Dayton has concerns with other areas of the bill and will likely veto it.