By JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A state commission in Ohio is taking up Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-sik's) request to invest up to $20 million in scientific breakthroughs aimed at tackling the state and national opioid crisis.
The Third Frontier Commission will debate the request on Wednesday.
Kasich called for dedicating the funding stream, and distributing it quickly, during his State of the State address in April.
Ohio led the nation with 2,700 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2015, a 28 percent increase over the previous year. Commissioners will begin Wednesday's gathering with a briefing on the state of the crisis and response.
Researchers in addiction and drug abuse at top tier Ohio institutions say their studies of potentially groundbreaking treatments and technologies can benefit from a financial boost.