7/2/2019 4:54:42 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – On Monday, July 1, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan held a signing ceremony in honor of H.F. 400, a law to help combat the opioid epidemic in Minnesota. Paid for by a fee on opioid manufacturers and distributors, the law will provide local communities with the resources they need to address opioid addiction, intervention, treatment, and recovery.
“The opioid epidemic has devastated every corner of our state and left heartbroken families in its wake” said Governor Walz. “We cannot tackle this crisis with a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why this law builds on the work of local providers and programs across Minnesota to craft the innovative solutions our communities need to combat addiction. We’re determined to end this crisis in Minnesota.”
“This law is the work of advocates who transformed unimaginable pain into action, action into progress, and progress into law,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Minnesota is working to prevent, educate, and treat those affected by the opioid crisis and hold drug companies accountable.”
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor were joined by legislators and advocates, including Lexi Reed Holtum. Holtum is the Executive Director of the Steve Rummler HOPE Network, a non-profit created following the death of her fiancé Steve Rummler from opioid addiction.
“Today is the eight-year anniversary of Steve’s death. He was my fiancé and rather than planning our wedding, I ended up planning his funeral,” said Holtum. “I am just really blown away by the fact that we got it done. I’ve never been so proud in my life to work with such a dedicated team of people. Everywhere I look are people who showed up because they are committed to making sure that we have better public health and safety in our state. We have twenty different states that we’re helping to pass similar legislation, because what we did here is a first.”
The law creates an opioid stewardship fund paid for by a fee on opioid manufacturers and distributors. A new advisory council is established to review and select grant projects paid for by the fund. The bill also supports prevention and education initiatives to address opioid addiction, intervention, treatment, and recovery.