Opioid Funding Bill Becomes Law

The governor acted on the last KLC initiative still outstanding this session. House Bill 92 became law Tuesday despite line-item vetoes issued by Governor Andy Beshear. The measure clarifies how Kentucky will distribute opioid settlement funds. The governor stressed in his veto message that he struck the lines at the request of the Office of the Attorney General to protect the commonwealth’s stake in the national settlement.

Representative Danny Bentley (R-Russell) sponsored the measure that included a Senate committee amendment by Senator Phillip Wheeler (R-Pikeville) that created a backstop fund to guarantee local governments can pay required legal fees. The governor’s vetoes do not impact language important to cities.

The Kentucky League of Cities helped broker House Bill 427, a measure legislators passed in the 2021 session that requires 50% of Kentucky’s settlement to go to city and county governments. Kentucky received $483 million from a settlement with drug distributors, the commonwealth’s share of the historic $26 billion deal. The money will fund programs to address the opioid epidemic.