This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced she is launching a new, interactive online portal for city and county governments seeking inclusion in the historic opioid settlement agreements.
Florida’s portion of the $26 billion agreement is more than $1.6 billion. Moody launched the Florida Opioid Settlement Portal on Wednesday.
The portal will serve as a resource for counties, municipalities and the public about the settlements and local participation in the agreements.
“I’m proud of the role Florida played negotiating these historic, multibillion-dollar agreements,” Moody said. “Funds from these agreements will be used to abate the deadly opioid crisis claiming 21 lives a day in our state. This new portal will help inform the public and local governments about these agreements and how monies will be utilized. In order for a successful resolution and for Florida to maximize abatement dollars to help victims, we encourage local governments to participate.”
In accordance with the terms of the settlement agreements, local governments have until Jan. 2, 2022, to join. The deal’s ratification is contingent on a critical mass of states and local governments participating.
Florida negotiated an allocation agreement with counsel for its litigating local subdivisions, so that subdivisions will know how much money they will receive from any settlement. So far, 158 Florida subdivisions representing more than 90 percent of Florida’s population have agreed to participate in the agreements. Those subdivisions now will have to vote to join the settlement.
By terms of the settlement agreement, cities less than 10,000 people in population that are not litigating against the settling defendants do not count in the sign-on calculations. Florida is allowing those cities to participate and receive funds if they sign a participation agreement and release its claims. If a city with less than 10,000 people that is not litigating against the settling defendants does not sign-on, those amounts will roll-up to the county where the city is located.
If no action is taken, a Florida subdivision will not receive settlement funds and it will reduce the amounts of abatement funds for Florida.
In August, Moody and participating states announced the agreements. As a result, three settling opioid distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, collectively, will pay up to $21 billion over 17 and a half years, and Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years. The agreements follow years of aggressive litigation efforts led by Moody and other state attorneys general. Florida’s allotted portion of the agreements is $1.6 billion—bringing the total amount of funds secured through action by Moody to nearly $2 billion.
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