Governor Tim Walz has signed into law a bill establishing a fund for prevention and treatment of opioid addiction in Minnesota, paid for by fees on drug manufacturers and distributors. Willmar Republican Dave Baker, whose son died from an opioid overdose, choked back tears as he told fellow lawmakers just before the legislature passed the bill Monday night, “We had to tell our children, Olivia and Alex, about their older brother, Dan, who wasn’t coming home…. I remember seeing my dad and mom walking in the door, and they had lost their grandson.”
The bill would raise 20 million dollars a year from registration fees on opioid manufacturers and distributors. Fees on some companies would be reduced in five years if the fund reaches 250 million dollars, either from fee collections or a large settlement in a national lawsuit.