East Wenatchee Agrees To Regional Council On Opioid Relief Money
The city of East Wenatchee is the latest local government to approve the formation of a regional council which will decide how to spend money from an opioid settlement.
The city council signed on to the agreement at it meeting this past week.
East Wenatchee is among three cities and four counties that are required to form an opioid abatement council in order to have access to the money.
Deputy Prosecuting City Attorney Sean Lewis says the council will decide how use the money collectively.
"The opioid abatement council will be to guide and direct, and decide on regional activities that would assist in opioid abatement things," said Lewis.
The funds are coming from a $518 million settlement between Washington State and three companies linked to the opioid epidemic.
"This opioid abatement council comes after Washington state won a settlement agreement between Washington state and bunches of opioid distributors for what might be considered very careless activities," Lewis said.
East Wenatchee will join the cities of Wenatchee and Moses Lake as well as Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties to form the council.
Each city and county can decide whether to spent its portion of the settlement money collectively or separately.
The money must be spent on efforts to reduce opioid use and problems related to opioids.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the settled back in October with three companies found to have played key roles in fueling the opioid epidemic - McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.
Ferguson went to trial against the companies after rejecting a national settlement.
All 125 eligible local governments signed onto the half-billion dollar opioid resolution stemming from Ferguson’s lawsuit.