Vermont law creates panel, fund for opioid settlement
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Phil Scott on Monday signed legislation into law on Monday that creates an advisory committee to make recommendations on how to spend the state’s share of settlement money with drug manufacturers and distribution companies over the toll of prescription opioids.
The number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Vermont jumped 33% in 2021 to a record number of 210 fatalities, the Vermont Health Department reported last month.
The committee will be made up of the state’s health commissioner; a member each from the state Senate and House; health care providers; two people who lived through the experience of opioid use disorder; an assistant judge; and representatives from municipalities.
Each year, the committee will make recommendations to the Vermont Department of Health and legislative committees for expenditures from a special opioid abatement fund. The health commissioner is expected to call the first meeting of the panel to occur on or before June 30.