June 30, 2021
After weeks of negotiations with the New York state Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an opioid settlement fund bill into law, albeit with changes that give the administration more power over the advisory committee that will direct the funds. The bill memo is available here: http://www.nystatewatch.net/www/NY/21R/pdf/NY21RSB07194APP.pdf
While the new law ensures that any money received from opioid settlements will not supplant state funding, there are changes to the original bill that provide the executive with greater oversight of the funding.
For example, the number of advisory committee members would increase from 16 to 21. Of those 21 members, nine would be appointed by the governor. Additionally, the head of the Division of the Budget and the commissioners of the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services will now be voting members of the committee.
Here is the breakdown of the advisory committee:
- 4 state agency representatives (who now have voting power): Commissioners of OASAS, OMH, DOH and DOB
- 2 appointments by Gov. Cuomo
- 3 appointments by the Senate majority leader
- 3 appointments by the Assembly speaker
- 1 appointment by the attorney general
- 1 appointment by the New York City mayor
- 7 appointments by nominees selected by the Association of Counties. Of these, three will be selected by the governor and one each by the Senate majority leader, Assembly speaker, Senate minority leader and Assembly minority leader.
Other changes tighten the use of the money and allow the Department of Financial Services to bring claims against opioid manufacturers in the future.
We will talk more about this with OASAS General Counsel Trisha Schell-Guy during our Thursday morning NYS Council Public Policy and Member Support call beginning at 9:15 a.m. sharp.