Attorney General's Office Reaching Out About Opioid Payments
September 9, 2022
Counties were contacted by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office this week about the second round of payments from settlements with makers and distributors of opioids. When these agreements were finalized last year, the money was divided up into different pots. The $26 billion national settlement is being paid out over an 18-year period. Tennessee’s share of the payments this year is roughly $22.4 million. The largest percentage of the funds from these settlement agreements (70%) is distributed to a trust overseen by the opioid abatement council and must be used for addressing the effects of the opioid epidemic. Of the funds overseen by the opioid abatement council, each county has a portion earmarked for use in their community. Once the council establishes the list of approved uses, we expect more information to be made available about how to draw down these funds.
The other 30% was split into two 15% pots of money - one sent to the state and the other shared among local governments. Counties received their first distribution from the 15% local government pot (roughly $3.3 million) earlier this year. The funds are being administered nationally by the firm of Brown Greer and come to the county directly. As a result of delays getting everything finalized, these payments that were actually due last year were only received this summer. Notice is now going out about the second round of payments (this year’s distribution) coming to counties.
The Attorney General’s office had been primarily communicating with county mayors regarding these settlements. TCSA notified them earlier this week of the turnover in mayors and shared the best contact information we had for the new mayors at that time. All counties should already be registered with the national administrator. However, there could be some delay in communications if they are trying to contact a mayor no longer in office. We are working to resolve these issues.
If you have questions regarding these funds that are not answered by the materials from the AG’s office, let us know.