Counties Applaud JCF Approval of Opioid Settlement
Settlement Approval Will Result in Millions to Combat Opioid Epidemic
The Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) is commending the Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) for their approval on November 30, 2021 of Wisconsin’s participation in the nationwide opioid settlement involving opioid distributors and Johnson & Johnson. Once finally approved through the national process, the settlement may result in payments of over $400 million to the state of Wisconsin and Wisconsin local governments to combat the opioid epidemic.
“The counties’ agreement with the Attorney General effectuating the settlement and today’s action by JCF were critical steps in ensuring funds from the national opioid settlement come into the State of Wisconsin as quickly as possible,” said WCA President and CEO Mark D. O’Connell. “For nearly five years, Wisconsin counties have led the nationwide effort to hold those responsible for the opioid epidemic accountable for their actions.”
Earlier this year, the legislature approved and the Governor signed legislation (2021 Wisconsin Act 57) outlining the distribution and use of settlement funds. Based on that action, 70% of settlement proceeds will be allocated to Wisconsin counties and litigating local governments, while 30% will be directed to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Importantly, all the funds will be directed toward abating the profound epidemic that has had a tremendous negative impact on our communities.
“We have seen firsthand the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on our communities. Our counties throughout the state commend JCF for its swift action in approving the terms of the settlement,” said O’Connell. “Positioning Wisconsin to be first in line for these settlement funds has been a joint effort by Wisconsin counties, the legislature, the Attorney General and the Governor, and we could not be prouder of our joint efforts.”