Cuomo signs opioid settlement fund lockbox bill with undisclosed caveats

By Published On: June 30th, 2021Categories: Capitol Notes

Legislation designed to ensure funds from future settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors is spent on substance abuse treatment and prevention was signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with the understanding that the Democratic majorities in the state Legislature will make future changes to the law.

In an approval memorandum indicating there will be a chapter amendment, Cuomo writes that he is fully supportive of an “opioid settlement fund,” but notes that he has reached an agreement with lawmakers to “make several technical changes to this bill to ensure fund monies are utilized in the prevention, treatment, education, and abatement of opioid addiction.” He added that the amendments will preserve his administration’s ability to pursue administrative proceedings.

Representatives for the governor and the Democratic majorities in the state Senate and Assembly did not immediately respond to inquiries Wednesday morning about the specific changes that will be made.

The governor has traditionally balked at efforts to codify how state funds are spent, but state Attorney General Letitia James upped the stakes with this effort by tying a portion of recent settlement funds to the fate of this bill.

Approval Memo 10 by Capitol Pressroom on Scribd