VACo along with VML hosted representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, local government attorneys, and law firms involved in litigation with opioid manufacturers and distributors for a webinar on October 25 to inform localities about participation in the $26 billion national settlement with Janssen (a manufacturer of opioids) and several opioid distributors. Virginia stands to receive approximately $530 million over the course of the settlement period, with the exact amount dependent on participation by local governments. Local governments must join the settlement by January 2, 2022, to receive funds; participation requires a locality to adopt resolutions approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth and entering into the settlement agreement.
Under the terms of the settlement, 15 percent of the funds will be distributed to participating localities and are not restricted in their use, 15 percent will be distributed to participating localities for abatement purposes, 15 percent will remain with the Commonwealth, and 55 percent will be deposited to the Opioid Abatement Fund, which was established in the 2021 legislative session.
The Opioid Abatement Fund, which will be administered by the Opioid Abatement Authority, will divide its funds as follows: 15 percent to participating localities, 35 percent to participating localities’ regional partnerships, 15 percent to state agencies, and 35 percent for any of the preceding purposes or for administrative expenses. The statute creating the Authority states that its purpose is “to abate and remediate the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth through financial support from the Fund, in the form of grants, donations, or other assistance, for efforts to treat, prevent, and reduce opioid use disorder and the misuse of opioids in the Commonwealth.” The Honorable James Holland, Chair of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, serves on the Board of Directors of the Authority.
A recording of the October 25 webinar as well as the slide presentation and sample resolutions to approve the Memorandum of Understanding and participation in the settlement may be found on VACo’s website at this link: https://www.vaco.org/legislative/virginia-opioid-abatement-information/.