St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota State Senate has taken a bold step in addressing the state’s opioid crisis today with the passage of HF 400. The bipartisan bill, which passed by a vote of 59-6, creates an Opiate Epidemic Response Account to fund treatment services and an Advisory Council that will decide how to best use these funds. Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) voted yes on today’s bill.
“Every community in Minnesota has felt the effects of the public health crisis, and public safety issue that opioids have become for our families,” said Senator Bigham. “Far too many people have lost their lives or are struggling to recover from the effects opioids had on their lives. This bill takes a necessary and vital step towards addressing this crisis.”
The bill requires an increased annual registration fee from manufacturers and wholesale distributers operating in MN. Funding collected from the registration fees will go to an Opiate Epidemic Response Account in the special revenue fund. Manufacturers and wholesalers must annually report to the Board of Pharmacy each sale, delivery, and distribution of an opiate. Registration fees collected are set to bring in around $20M in revenue each year. An 18-member Opiate Epidemic Response Advisory Council is created to implement a comprehensive statewide effort to address opioid addiction and the overdose epidemic in Minnesota. The Council will determine grant recipients out of the funds collected, to be awarded by the commissioner of human services.
About Senator Karla Bigham
Karla Bigham is a state senator who represents Cottage Grove, Hastings, South St. Paul, St. Paul Park, Newport, Afton and neighboring townships. She is a member of the following committees: Environment and Natural Resources Finance; Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy; and Human Services Reform Finance and Policy.