EDITOR’S NOTE: Every person in Southwest Virginia knows someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. That’s why it’s important that we pay attention to the manner in which the Opioid Abatement Authority disburses the funds it controls. We all have a stake in seeing that these funds are used effectively and for their intended purpose. Read the full text of the bill establishing the Opioid Abatement Authority by clicking this link: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?211+sum+SB1469
|NORFOLK, VIRGINIA — NOVEMBER 9, 2021|
Today the newly formed Opioid Abatement Authority held its organizational meeting in Richmond and elected Senator Todd Pillion (R-Washington) as chairman and Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) as vice chairman.
As part of a $26 billion national opioid settlement, the Commonwealth of Virginia is expected to receive approximately $530 million. Pursuant to legislation passed earlier this year, the newly formed authority is charged with administering the Virginia Opioid Abatement Fund, which will receive the most of the half-billion-dollar settlement. Separate from the fund, a portion of Virginia’s settlement will be allocated directly to participating localities.
The purpose of the fund, as outlined in statute, is to support efforts to treat, prevent, or reduce opioid use disorder or the misuse of opioids or otherwise abate or remediate the opioid epidemic.
“This fund will be instrumental in boosting our continued efforts to tackle this crisis on behalf of all Virginians,” said Pillion. “Whether directly or indirectly, this epidemic affects our entire Commonwealth. The makeup of this authority reflects that. It doesn’t matter your background, political affiliation, or whether you’re from a holler in Lee County like me or the city of Norfolk like Delegate Jones, this epidemic knows no bounds in our communities. That fact requires all of us working together to address this crisis in a way that saves lives and strengthens our communities and workforce.”
“I’m thrilled to be named Vice Chairman of the Opioid Abatement Authority and I look forward to working with Chairman Pillion and the members of the authority to achieve the aims and goals as outlined by the legislature,” said Jones. “The opioid crisis has touched the lives of millions of Virginians of every race, creed, and color and I look forward to ensuring that we dispense with the monies allotted in a responsible and fair way to communities that have been hit the hardest and beyond.”