AUGUSTA — Maine will receive up to $130 milion over 18 years as the state’s share of use of proceeds from the National Opioid Settlements with distributors.

Attorney General Aaron M. Frey said in a statement that he recently reached an agreement with litigating cities, counties, and school districts governing Maine’s use of proceeds from the settlements with distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and Amerisource Bergen and opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson.

This agreement completes Maine’s acceptance of a settlement that was initially agreed to by Frey in August 2021. The settlement funds will be used to support state and local efforts to address the opioid epidemic.

“At a time when Mainers continue to suffer from the pain and loss inflicted by the opioid epidemic, this agreement and the settlement it secures represents a significant opportunity to confront the crisis head on,” Frey said. “This agreement paves the way for Maine to receive significant resources, starting this year, to be specifically directed at tackling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our state. These resources will be deployed to address this crisis, provide necessary treatment for addiction, and save lives. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of counties and municipalities in bringing this money to Maine, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and others as we move forward on this issue of state-wide importance.”

Governor Janet Mills said she was looking to seeing the funds put to use to help Mainers suffering from opioid misuse.

“Maine people have suffered and lost their lives at the hands of companies that peddled dangerously addictive opioids to boost their profits and bottom lines,” Mills said. “I applaud the attorney general for his work to hold them accountable and to reach an agreement with cities, counties, and school districts across Maine to govern the funds’ distribution. I look forward to working with the attorney general, the Legislature, and others to put these funds to use combatting the opioid epidemic, which has only grown more deadly inside of this insidious pandemic.”

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The agreement between the Office of the Attorney General and the litigating cities, counties, and school districts directs the settlement funds as follows:

• 20 percent of the proceeds to the State, administered by the Office of the Attorney General, to address the epidemic;

• 30 percent of the proceeds to the 39 Maine counties and municipalities that either filed litigation against the settling companies or that have more than 10,000 residents;

• 50 percent to a Maine Recovery Fund that will be disbursed by a Recovery Council comprised of stakeholders who will make decisions on how best to maximize the impact of the funds on mitigating the opioid epidemic. The Recovery Council will include at least four members selected by cities and counties, two members appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House or his designee, the President of the Senate or his designee, and three members of the recovery community appointed by the Attorney General. Up to four additional members may be appointed by the Legislature.

The Recovery Council has broad discretion on how to spend the funds on opioid abatement purposes but must allocate 3 percent of the funds to address abatement in special education programs.

Distribution of these settlement funds to Maine is expected to begin as soon as April 2022.

This agreement will also govern the distribution of any proceeds received from ongoing opioid litigation with Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt.

The complete settlement agreements are available at www.maine.gov/ag

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