Governor Lamont Plans to Sign Law Dedicating $300 Million Toward Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he soon plans to sign into law recently approved legislation (House Bill 5044) that dedicates approximately $300 million toward evidence-based strategies that will work to eradicate the opioid epidemic in Connecticut.
The funding comes from Connecticut’s share of the $26 billion multistate settlement involving several pharmaceutical companies over their roles in creating and fueling the epidemic. Connecticut is expected to receive its funding in several installments over the next 18 years, with the first payment anticipated in July.
The legislation establishes an Opioid Settlement Fund as a separate, non-lapsing fund that will be administered by a representative group of stakeholders appointed to the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee with assistance from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The money the state receives from the settlement must be deposited into this fund, and it can only be used to address the opioid crisis.
Governor Lamont thanked Attorney General William Tong and his staff for working with his administration to develop the legislation and help get it approved by the General Assembly.
“By passing this legislation, we are writing it into law that the funding from this settlement must be dedicated only to strategies that will fight the opioid epidemic, and do it in a way that is transparent and includes input from the community,” Governor Lamont said. “We have to do everything we can to support those suffering from addiction, and I will continue to make this a priority for our administration. I’m proud to work with such a great team of partners in Connecticut who have been working hard to fight this crisis”
“Connecticut is about to receive millions of dollars to fight the opioid epidemic from a series of settlements with the worst offenders in the addiction industry, including Purdue Pharma, McKinsey, Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson,” Attorney General Tong said. “I fought hard throughout these negotiations for explicit guidelines to guarantee this money is spent to save lives, support victims and their families, and fight the opioid epidemic. The overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation cements those critical safeguards and ensures these lifesaving dollars cannot be diverted or misused. Now that this legislation has passed, I am working hard to make sure survivors and families have a voice at the table and are heard at every step in allocating these funds.”
The legislation was approved in the House on April 26 and in the Senate on May 3 with the nearly unanimous, bipartisan support of lawmakers. It will next be transmitted to Governor Lamont for his signature.