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Tuesday is the deadline for local governments to sign up for opioid settlement cash

prescription pill bottle
Melissa Benmark
Michigan Radio

This Tuesday is the deadline for Michigan local governments to sign up for a share of the $26 billion multi-state opioid settlement with drugmakers and distributors.

Michigan is set to receive more than $795 million from the settlement. That money is meant to fund opioid treatment and prevention efforts. The state will directly administer roughly half of the money, while the other half will go to local units of government.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said 278 local governments are eligible to participate, including all of the state’s counties. As of Friday, 267 had signed up. Nessel has extended the deadline for local governments to sign up twice.

The settlement terms dictate how the funds will be allocated. It’s based on a formula that takes into account the number of people diagnosed with opioid use disorder in a jurisdiction, the number of overdose deaths, and the amount of opioids distributed there.

The settlement gives state and local governments a huge amount of leeway to spend the funds. That has some concerned that it won’t be used effectively. Others are concerned that so far, Michigan hasn’t committed to publicly accounting for exactly how the settlement dollars are spent.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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