More re: Opioid Settlement Advocacy

March 10, 2020

The following language has been submitted to legislative leads in both the Assembly and the Senate (with a strong request from the group that met yesterday with the AG’s representative) that they please include this language in their one house budget proposals (currently due to be released next week):

Article 6 of the State Finance law is amended to add a new section 92-ii to read as follows:

Section 1. Opioid Settlement Fund. 1. There is hereby established in the sole custody of the state comptroller and the commissioner of taxation and finance a fund, to be known as the “opioid settlement fund.”

2. Moneys in the opioid settlement fund shall be kept separate and shall not be commingled with any other moneys in the custody of the state comptroller. 

3. Such fund shall consist of moneys received by the state, as a result of the settlement of litigation with the Opioid Industry, pursuant to the Master Settlement Agreement entered into by the, inter alia, Attorney General of the State of New York and the Opioid Industry.  Such funds received from such settlement shall be expended solely for the purpose of services as set forth in subdivision 4 of this section, and shall not be used to supplant any current funding of such programs. 

4. Monies from the opioid settlement fund shall be available following appropriation by the legislature and may only be expended on programs to support services to combat substance use and addiction issues, and co-occurring mental illnesses, in New York State. These services include programs under the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Office of Mental Health, including but not limited to programs licensed under Article 31, Article 32, and Section 822 clinics, as well as supportive housing and collaborative programs between the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Office of Children and Family Services. 

5. Recommendations on how the opioid settlement fund shall be allocated will be made by the Opioid Settlement Board, comprised of the Commissioner of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health, the Chair of the Senate Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee, the Chair of the New York Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, two public health practitioners with expertise in substance use prevention and treatment, at least one coalition representing substance use providers, and at least one individual with a history of substance use disorder.