ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s new task force on the opioid crisis will hold its first meeting next week on how best to spend $20 million from new licensing fees on the pharmaceutical industry.

The Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced the 19 members of the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council. They include legislative and tribal leaders; health care professionals; experts in addiction, mental illness and public health; individuals in recovery and chronic pain sufferers.

The task force is due to issue its first report and recommendations for project funding in March 2020. The money will come from sharply higher fees imposed by the 2019 Legislature on drug manufacturers and distributors.

The money will go for grants to fund prevention strategies, and to help reimburse counties for their growing child protection costs.

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