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House panel wants to ensure opioid funds aren’t diverted to other things

Opioids

House panel wants to ensure opioid funds aren’t diverted to other things

The bills were adopted by the House Oversight Committee with only one “no” vote. That came from a lawmaker who said there are already conditions on how the settlement funds can be spent.

A state House committee adopted two bills today to ensure that Michigan’s share of the national opioid settlement with drug manufacturers is used to treat addiction.

Supporters of the bills say they want to avoid what happened with tobacco settlement funds. The money was supposed to help states recoup the Medicaid costs of treating people with tobacco-related illnesses. But Michigan used much of the money for things other than health care.

Attorney General Dana Nessel testified in support of the bills, and urged lawmakers to act quickly.

“But time is not in our side when it comes to Michigan’s opioid epidemic. Some 3,000 Michiganders lost their lives just last year to opioid overdoses.”