FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — LEX 18 discusses opioid settlement with AG Daniel Cameron
FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) -
Right now, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office is looking through a $26 billion opioid settlement agreement.
The state has less than 30 days to decide whether or not to sign onto that. That would bring about $460 million over 18 years to the commonwealth to fight the opioid epidemic.
"We continue to review the terms of the agreement," said Attorney General Daniel Cameron." I hope that we will ultimately be able to sign on because it is a huge step in terms of the dollar amount that would come to Kentucky."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the epidemic contributed to increasing overdose deaths. Last year, more than 2,100 Kentuckians died from an overdose. That's about 700 more fatal overdoses than 2019 in Kentucky.
"My hope is renewed and restored by the ability to bring these dollars in and I'm hopeful that over the course of these years to come, we'll be able to break these cycles of addiction," Cameron said. "50 percent of those dollars, because of House Bil 427, are going to local governments. And then the other 50 percent is going to go to the state to look at statewide ways in which we can use this money."
The Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission would help to oversee the money coming in. Cameron says that helps to see where the money gets spent. He noted HB 427 has bi-partisan support.
"The majority of the dollars are going to what's considered abatement," Cameron said. "So, things that can help eradicate or take care of the addiction concerns."
"Perhaps it looks like getting folks transportation to get to rehabilitation facilities," Cameron added. "Perhaps it looks like making sure some of our current treatment facilities have more resources to allow them to bring in more people."
Some of the ideas are outlined in the bill itself. It includes medically assisted treatment, treatment, recovery, or other services provided by community health centers or not-for-profit providers. It would also provide employment training or educational services for persons in treatment or recovery. As for how the dollars will be used, Cameron says they will be available for local communities.
"It's going to be up to local governments to decide where 50 percent of those dollars go," Cameron said. "It's going to be up to the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission to decide where the other 50 percent of those dollars go."
If Kentucky signs onto the agreement, Cameron says the funds could start coming in as early as next spring.