Yost Pitches Constitutional Amendment to Protect Opioid Settlement Money

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The Ohio Attorney General’s office has crafted a proposal that would put guardrails around potential opioid lawsuit settlement money to make sure the funds are used specifically for the opioid epidemic.

The proposal spells out a constitutional amendment which creates the Ohio Recovery Foundation, made up of a board of directors and a board of investors. The board of directors would be in charge of allocating the money to different resources around the state on the local level. The board of investors would invest some of the money in order to keep a pot of funds going well into the future.

The plan addresses an ongoing concern from several groups that the settlement money could end up being diverted by future state lawmakers for projects not related to the prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance abuse disorder.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost points to the tobacco settlement which was diverted for other uses.

“This is our way to put it in concrete that this money is going to be protected and used for the thing that everybody wants it to be used for,” says Yost.

He says, because of the start of New York’s opioid lawsuit, that many states are approaching a window of opportunity where drug companies may be likely to settle. Yost says it’s important to send a message that Ohio has a plan for the money in place, and time is a factor.

In order to put a constitutional amendment on the March ballot, the Ohio General Assembly would have to pass a resolution by December 18 (90 days before the March primary).