Opioid settlement money comes to the Southern Tier

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:57 PM EST
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CITY OF BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - As a result of a number of lawsuits that have been initiated against pharmaceutical companies for over prescribing opioid medication and getting people addicted, settlement funding is coming back to New York State and places like Broome County are no exception.

When it comes to taking legal action, County Executive Jason Garnar said Broome County was one of the first municipalities in the United States to enter such a lawsuit. Other counties and municipalities at the state and national level are also coming together with the mission to hold the companies accountable.

“We’re starting to win those settlements,” said Garnar. “They’re starting to make settlements and local governments are starting to receive awards.”

However, don’t expect the county to see the money all at once.

Some of the settlements, the money will come all at once. It will be a lump sum payment,” said Garnar. “Some other settlements, we get a small amount of money each year.”

As funds come back to our area over time, the county executive said Attorney General Letitia James mentioned Broome County could see in total over four million by the end.

“Every county in the Southern Tier will get something,” said Garnar. “The state also gets money in these settlements and we’re going to be eligible to apply for some of the money that the state gets as well.”

Technically, he said the money can be put in the budget and spent in any way. However, the county executive made his effort clear.

“We will not spend this money in ways that have nothing to do with this epidemic,” said Garnar.

The Broome Opioid Awareness Council is getting ready to put out a request for proposals (RFP) for some of the money available right now.

The RFP is expected to launch in the next month or two for community-based organizations to apply for the money. When the time comes, go to the Broome County Health Department’s website.