The opioid epidemic has taken an unprecedented toll on Kentucky, in both the number of lives lost and expense. Kentucky cities continue to battle the crisis in their communities as the number of overdose victims climbs, but a recent settlement by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office may help. Cities can access funds to help address opioid treatment and prevention.
The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reported more than 1,900 overdose deaths in 2020, a 49% increase from 2019. An opioid abatement agreement reached between the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and pharmaceutical distributors can help cities fund much-needed substance abuse programs and recoup costs. However, cities must sign up to receive their share of the funds.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the agreement in July ‒ more than $460 million for Kentucky over 18 years. Participating cities would receive funds over that time, but the amount depends on the overall participation level of local governments in the state.
Legislators passed House Bill 427 in the 2021 session to set requirements for distributing the money. The measure requires at least half of all recovered opioid funds to go to local governments. Cities must meet some certification and reporting requirements, and they must sign on with a national registry by January 2, 2022, to receive the funds.
The Kentucky League of Cities and Attorney General’s Office want to ensure cities take the necessary steps to receive funding to address substance abuse issues in their communities. An informational session on November 16 will help city leaders know how to register to ensure they receive their portion of the state’s $460 million settlement.
The no-cost session will be held November 16, at 10:00 a.m. EST. You can register here. KLC strongly encourages city attorneys, administrators, and elected officials to attend this event. If you have any questions, contact KLC Municipal Law at 800-876-4552.
Cities that do not participate in the agreement cannot recover funds through independent litigation, so local governments should work closely with the Attorney General’s Office.
Learn more about Kentucky’s opioid settlement and the registration process for cities here.