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Governor Whitmer passes legislation to fight opioid crisis

$800M to be invested in treatment, prevention, mental health, other abatement efforts
The new package of legislation will invest $800 million in treatment, prevention and mental...
The new package of legislation will invest $800 million in treatment, prevention and mental health in response to the Opioid Crisis.(Source: USAF / Abbey Rieves)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 12:42 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of legislation Thursday investing $800 million in treatment, prevention and mental health in response to the opioid crisis.

Together, Senate Bills 993, 994, and 995 manage the disbursement of settlement funds as a result of opioid-related lawsuits and create the Opioid Advisory Commission to advance policy to prevent, treat, and support those with opioid use disorder.

“The opioid crisis touches families across our state, which is why it’s so crucial to ensure that Michiganders facing substance use issues have the support and resources they need to get better,” said Gov. Whitmer. “The legislation I signed today will be instrumental in preventing more deaths and will provide Michigan families impacted by the devastating opioid epidemic with some semblance of relief. These funds will bring millions of dollars to support our neighbors, family, and friends in treatment and recovery. I will continue to work with anyone who wants to help those who are struggling.”

“Time is not on our side when it comes to Michigan’s opioid epidemic, so I applaud the bipartisan support that got these bills across the finish line and to Gov. Whitmer’s desk,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I have spent the past couple of months visiting communities and organizations around Michigan to learn more about the work being done to prevent and treat Opioid Use Disorder, and while local governments will receive direct payments, the timely deployment of state settlement dollars is crucial in the fight against opioids in our communities. This puts us a step closer to getting the proper infrastructure in place to ensure settlement dollars can be used quickly and save as many lives as possible.”

Senate Bill 993 creates the Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund in the Department of the Treasury.

Senate Bill 993 was sponsored by Senator Michael MacDonald, R – Macomb, and a copy can be found here.

Senate Bill 994 creates the Opioid Advisory Commission, which would review initiatives related to education, prevention, treatment, and services for individuals and families affected by substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Senate Bill 994 was sponsored by Senator Mark Huizenga, and a copy can be found here.

Senate Bill 995 creates a threshold for certain civil actions related to opioids. Enacting the bill would allow the State and local governments that have settled to receive full incentives under the settlement payment plans.

Senate Bill 995 was sponsored by Senator Betty Jean Alexander, D – Detroit, and a copy can be found here.

More information about the historic opioid settlements can be found through the Department of Attorney General’s website. Payments are expected to begin sometime this summer. The Department of Attorney General will release additional information when the payments begin.

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