As part of the massive legal settlement with several opioid manufacturers and distributors, Maryland is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars to use in the fight against the opioid epidemic. MML, the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Office of the Attorney General developed a framework to allocate the settlement funds among the State and local governments. All municipalities will have access to some portion of these funds as a result of this agreement; some will receive direct funding while others will have access to a grant program.
SB 419 / HB 1086 codifies this agreement and makes certain that any distributions to the State as part of these settlements will be allocated in the manner developed in the framework. This bill had the support of MML and passed unanimously in both chambers.
Another aspect of the allocation of opioid funding and resources is the creation of the Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council in HB 794. This council is tasked with providing recommendations on the spending of money from the Opioid Restitution Fund according to several criteria. As introduced, there was no municipal representation on the Council despite expenditures from the Fund potentially impacting municipal residents and municipal services. MML was successful in adding a municipal seat through an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee.