March 23, 2023
On Friday, March 17, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law S783, which establishes the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund, as well as requirements for proceeds from opioid settlements to support substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs.
As stated in a press release, this legislation builds on steps taken via Executive Order No. 305 last year to help New Jersey determine how to best utilize opioid settlement funds to address the opioid crisis.
Governor Murphy was quoted saying, "This legislation will further enable our ongoing efforts to address the impact of the opioid crisis on our state . . . with thorough input from subject matter experts and those with lived experiences regarding the use of these settlement funds, we have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of countless New Jersey residents and communities that have been affected by this crisis."
The legislation establishes a non-lapsing fund within the Department of Treasury, where the state's share of settlement funds will be deposited and eventually distributed as determined by the state, with recommendations from the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Advisory Council. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to make recommendations to the Administration regarding the prioritization and effective use of the state's share of the settlement funds in ways that align with the terms of the settlements. The settlement funding must go towards treating opioid use disorder, addressing the needs of justice-involved individuals, offering harm reduction services, preventing overdose deaths, supporting relevant research and training, and other similar ways of combating the opioid epidemic.
The Governor concurrently signed Executive Order No. 323, which rescinds the prior executive order (No. 305) and clarifies that all aspects of the previously established council - including its members - will carry over under the new law.
Click here to read the relevant press release for more information.