Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced the release of a model law for state legislatures that would help ensure opioid litigation proceeds are directed to addressing substance use disorders and drug-related harms in impacted communities and with public accountability.
The Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act was researched and drafted by the Legislative Analysis and Policy Association (LAPPA), in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown Law Center, the Center for U.S. Policy, and Brown and Weinraub, and with the input of subject matter experts and peer reviewers.
Through the model law’s provisions, states would:
- Establish a dedicated Fund separate from the state’s general treasury fund that is designated for substance use disorder abatement, including prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction infrastructure, programs, services, supports, and resources;
- Ensure that proceeds deposited into the Fund remain separate from the state treasury’s general fund; do not lapse or revert to the general fund; and are not subject to fiscal year limitations; and are used only as intended;
- Ensure distributions from the Fund supplement, and not supplant or replace, any existing or future local, state, or federal government funding, including, but not limited to, insurance benefits, federal grant funding, and Medicaid and Medicare funds; and
- Ensure that a council of geographically, racially, and ethnically diverse stakeholders be established to ensure robust and informed public involvement, accountability, and transparency in allocating and accounting for the monies in the Fund.