Attorney General Supports Sending $45.5M From Opioid Settlement To Local Governments

Attorney General Josh Kaul said Monday he supports sending the majority of a $65 million opioid settlement to local government programs in Wisconsin. 

Kaul announced Wisconsin’s earnings from a multi-billion-dollar, multi-state settlement with Purdue Pharma and its owners earlier this month. The lawsuit had to do with deceptive marketing practices for one of the company’s drugs, OxyContin. 

Speaking on WPR’s “The Morning Show,” Kaul said he supports sending 70 percent of the settlement to local government programs related to opioid treatment, recovery and prevention. The rest of the money would go to state government.

“I think getting money to local and county governments, to the extent that we can, is exactly where that money should be going, so that we can get resources in the communities and help to make a difference as soon as possible,” he said. 

Kaul said the millions won’t be enough to undo the harm caused by opioids like OxyContin, but argued the money could “really make an impact in helping to make communities safer and help to address this epidemic.” He said the money could be used for things like treatment programs, drug take back events and awareness campaigns. 

Gov. Tony Evers signed a GOP-backed bill last month that would require 70 percent of opioid settlements be sent to local governments. Kaul said the new law doesn’t apply to this settlement, but that he supports the split for the funds, regardless.  

According to the state, more than 1,100 people died from opioid abuse last year in Wisconsin.