By Shawn Pfaff

Wisconsin to Receive More Than $400 million in Opioid Settlement

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced this week the proposed settlement agreement between numerous states who sued three of the major pharmaceutical companies who were distributors of opiods. The proposed settlement is for $26 billion for the states – with Wisconsin set to receive more than $400 million

According to the Attorney General’s release, “The proposed agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic. Depending on the number of states and local governments that are part of the agreement, Wisconsin stands to receive at least an estimated $400 million.”

The agreement announced in the release includes the following:

Funding Overview:

  • The three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years.
  • Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years with up to $3.7 billion paid during the first three years.
  • The total funding distributed will be determined by the overall degree of participation by both litigating and non-litigating state and local governments.
  • The substantial majority of the money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention.
  • Each state’s share of the funding has been determined by agreement among the states using a formula that takes into account the impact of the crisis on the state – the number of overdose deaths, the number of residents with substance use disorder, and the number of opioids prescribed – and the population of the state.

Injunctive Relief Overview:

  • The 10-year agreement will result in court orders requiring Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen to:
    • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
    • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
    • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
    • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
    • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
    • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.
  • The 10-year agreement will result in court orders requiring Johnson & Johnson to:
    • Stop selling opioids.
    • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
    • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
    • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

To read more about the proposed opioid settlement, please click on the link below:

https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/ag-kaul-announces-updated-settlement-opioid-manufacturer-mallinckrodt

Legislative Fiscal Bureau Provides Update on State’s ARPA Funds

The non-partisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated information this week on state and local fiscal recovery funds under the federal COVID-related American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

According to the memo, Wisconsin will receive approximately $2,003.2 million in State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (LFRF) based on the state’s unemployment rate. In addition to the SFRF funds, Wisconsin will receive a $500 million equal share payment, meaning in total Wisconsin will receive approximately $2,533.2 million.

LFB states that it was certified to the U.S. Treasury that Wisconsin needed the funds and would use the funds in accordance with the SFRF guidelines, and Treasury let Wisconsin know it would receive half of the funds in May 2021, and the other half of the funds in 2022. If Treasury determines any of the first half of the funds were spent improperly, they will recoup those funds from the second half payment (thewheelerreport.com).

ARPA allocated a total of $130.2 billion for the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF) for payments to local units of government. Wisconsin local governments will receive $2,322.8 million from the LFRF, with half in 2021 and half in 2022. In Wisconsin that means:

  • $1,130.9 million to Wisconsin counties. Treasury will make payments directly to the counties.
  • $780.3 million to the 20 cities and one village which are designated as “metropolitan cities”
  • Treasury will make payments directly to these entities.
  • $411.6 million to the Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government (NEUs). (These funds are being distributed by DOR and there is a limited window to distribute these funds and DOR has already had to request one extension, according to the LFB report.)

As of July 15, 2021, Governor Evers has allocated approximately $892.6 million of the state’s SFF payment. Including:

  • WI Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants – $420.0 million
  • Broadband Expansion Grants – $100.0 million
  • Tourism and Entertainment Industries Support
    • Lodging Grants $75.0 million
    • Destination Marketing Organizations $15.0 million
    • Live Event Small Businesses $12.0 million
    • Movie Theaters $11.3 million
    • Live Entertainment Venues $10.0 million
    • Summer Camps $8.0 million
    • Tourism Marketing Support $7.5 million
    • Minor League Sports Teams $2.8 million
    • WI Historical Society $1.0 million
  • Workforce Development
    • Workforce Innovation Grants $100.0 million
    • Worker Advancement Initiative $20.0 million
    • Worker Connection Program $10.0 million
  • Reallocation of CRF Monies $100.0 million

To read more about the statust of the state’s ARPA funding, please click on the link below:

http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/072121lfb.pdf

Governor Declares “Bucks in Six” Day

Governor Tony Evers issued a proclamation Thursday morning celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks NBA Championship on Tuesday night. The name also recognizes the team’s “Bucks in Six!” rallying cry that, as the governor’s office put it, “fulfilled the prophecy of former Bucks guard, Brandon Jennings,” (www.nbc15.com).

To read the Governor’s “Bucks in Six” Day Proclamation, please click on the link below:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/bulletins/2e9790c

Committee Hearings Next Week

Wed Jul 28Assembly – Committee on Regulatory Licensing ReformExecutive Session
9:30 AM
417 North (GAR Hall)
Items: CR21-001-ASM
Wed Jul 28Assembly – Committee on Regulatory Licensing ReformPublic Hearing
9:31 AM
417 North (GAR Hall)
Items: AB410
Wed Jul 28Senate – Committee on HealthPublic Hearing
10:00 AM
201 Southeast
Items: SB394; SB453
Thu Jul 29Assembly – Committee on HealthPublic Hearing
9:00 AM
412 East
Items: AB86; AB128; AB181; AB281; AB290; AB292; AB295; AB296; AB337; AB358;