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AG Ellison weighing whether to sign onto proposed national settlement with opioid manufacturers, distributors

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U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.
Keith Ellison on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2016.
SAUL LOEB | AFP | Getty Images 2016

The Minnesota Office of the Attorney General will likely decide in the next few weeks whether to sign onto a proposed $48 billion national settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The deal announced this week was negotiated in Ohio court, and could involve 46 states, and thousands of counties and cities across the country.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said his office is acting quickly because he realizes how urgent the need is for resources to fight addiction in the state.

"I think this is a good start,” Ellison said. “It's a good way to begin this conversation. Whether or not we ultimately agree, I'll be using my judgement, that of my staff, but also I'll be listening to Minnesotans quite a lot."

About 70 percent of the cash settlement with the five companies would be dedicated to addiction services and treatment. Under the deal, companies would also monitor prescriptions and provide billions of dollars in drugs used in opioid treatment.