What’s more important? –

JULY 4, 2020 — Change the Outcome was one of more than two dozen programs that sought but failed to receive funding through Minnesota’s landmark Opioid Epidemic Response Law, which in its early going has suffered a revenue shortfall and seen legislators influence the spending of funds raised by fees on drug manufacturers.

Passed in 2019, the program was expected to raise $20 million to fight the opioid crisis through those fees. A 19-member citizen advisory council was established to make recommendations on distributing millions in revenue to addiction treatment and prevention programs.

But the fees have so far fallen $7 million short of projections. That, along with decisions by state legislators, left the council’s coffers too depleted to fulfill the council’s goal of funding more services.

Twenty-seven applicants, including treatment centers and programs focused on American Indian women, Asian communities and the homeless, were left empty-handed.