- Associated Press - Friday, June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker is headed to Washington for the first meeting of a panel set up by President Donald Trump to examine the nation’s drug addiction crisis.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis is chaired by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Its other members are Baker, a Republican; Democratic Gov. Ray Cooper of North Carolina; former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy; and Harvard Medical School researcher Bertha Madras.

The agenda for the commission’s first meeting Friday includes testimony from organizations such as the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Opioid overdoses were responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2015.

Baker signed a wide-ranging law last year that included limits on first-time prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

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