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MacDonald’s bill to put opioid settlement funds to use signed by governor

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s legislation to receive and distribute Michigan’s share of a nationwide opioid settlement for the next 18 years has been signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“I am happy the governor signed my legislation as part of a bipartisan effort to allow for the effective and secure administration of Michigan’s opioid settlement funds and help support opioid-related education, prevention and treatment throughout our state,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “The opioid epidemic continues to have a devastating impact on Michigan families and communities — destroying lives and killing thousands of people every year. It is going to be a long, tough fight to defeat opioid addiction, but it’s one we must win.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 104,000 people nationwide died from drug overdoses between September 2020 and September 2021 — a 15.9% increase from the previous 12-month period.

In Michigan, 2,933 people died during the same 12-month period — a 7% increase.

Michigan is set to receive nearly $800 million in opioid settlement payments over the next 18 years from three major pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, along with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

MacDonald’s bill, Senate Bill 993, is now Public Act 83 of 2022 and creates the Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund to receive dollars from the national opioid settlement or any future opioid case. It funds abatement practices and support for opioid use disorder and substance use disorder or mental health treatment and related efforts.

The two other bills, PA 84 and PA 85 create the Opioid Advisory Commission within the Legislative Council to annually review local, state, and federal initiatives and activities related to education, prevention, treatment, and services for people and families affected by substance use disorders and make recommendations to the Legislature and create the Opioid Liability Litigation Act to fulfill the terms of the settlement agreement.