How well did Connecticut implement the principles?
June 2, 2022
Connecticut is expected to receive approximately $300 million as a result of the settlements with the three large opioid distributors and Johnson & Johnson. In May 2022, Connecticut joined the group of states that have passed state legislation addressing the use of litigation funds with the passage of House Bill 5044. The bill implements many of the key elements laid out in the opioid litigation principles.
- Establishing a dedicated fund that can only be used for opioid abatement that holds all the money coming to the state as a result of the opioid litigation (Principle 1);
- Requiring that expenditures from the fund be used to supplement rather than supplant existing funding (Principle 1);
- Including explicit requirements for public reporting on the use of the dollars from the fund (Principle 1);
- Directing that the dollars go to evidence-based programs (Principle 2);
- Permitting the dollars to be used to build the state’s data capacity (Principle 2);
- Citing substance use prevention as an acceptable use of the funds (Principle 3);
- Specifically naming the reduction of disparities and the improvement of health outcomes in traditionally underserved populations as specific goals (Principle 4); and
- Building an advisory committee that includes people with lived experience and other relevant areas of expertise (Principle 5).
The bill also establishes an Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee that will make decisions on the use of dollars from the fund. Members of the Committee must be named by October 1, 2022.
One element from the Principles that is not included in the bill is an assessment of whether there are state laws or regulations that are barriers to the implementation of evidence-based programs (Principle 2). This task could be taken on by the Advisory Committee as part of their work for the state.