Alexandria will likely be getting an influx of funding from a statewide opioids settlement, but how much and where exactly that funding will be going remains to be determined.
The City Council met last night for a special session — interrupting the brief summer break due to the need to have a decision the city should join the Virginia Opioid Abatement Fund and Settlement Allocation Memorandum.
City attorney Joanna Anderson said the city previously filed litigation opioid companies and the decision is likely coming to a settlement at a statewide level.
Anderson also said the precautions are being taken at a state and local level to handle distribution of funding from settlements better than in the past.
“We’re having discussions with Attorney General’s office,” Anderson said. “We think this is a fair way for funds to come down. [This will be] handled better than previous settlements, like tobacco settlement. This agreement represents localities better. We think this is a fair process to do this.”
City Manager Mark Jinks said that currently it is unknown how much money the city will get and where that funding is going once it gets here.
“At this point, there’s been no decision on how to allocate funds,” Jinks said. “That will probably be part of annual budget process. It doesn’t have to be allocated to any one organization. We have an opioid work group and coordinator… and we will be looking for what’s the best application of money — at what’s the highest need.”
Photo courtesy Michael Longmire/Unsplash
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