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Kentucky commission finalizing grant process for opioid settlement funds

Kate Howard, WFPL

A Kentucky commission tasked with disbursing half of the roughly $480 million in opioid settlement funds is finalizing its grant process, which is expected to open in the coming week.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced members of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission in June, after lawmakers established the commission in 2021. He announced earlier in the year the state would receive the total funds over 18 years – part of a $26 billion multistate settlement with four drug companies.

Companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Johnson & Johnson have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis.

Kentucky’s funding will be split between local governments and the state, with the commission determining how to allocate the state portion. Funds will go in part toward programs supporting addiction intervention, treatment and recovery.

During an Oct. 4 meeting, the commission approved a revised grant application, with plans for it to go live by Oct. 15.

Bryan Hubbard, chair and executive director of the commission, said he hopes to be able to provide the funds within three months of grantees being awarded.

“I think that we all aim to make sure that we’re able to deliver funds and that work commences as quickly as possible once we announce who’s going to be receiving funds from this commission,” he said.

The commission has also been traveling the state, hosting a series of town halls to better understand how addiction has impacted communities across the commonwealth.

The most recent was held in Ashland, where around 100 people discussed the issue for nearly three hours. Hubbard called the spirit and substance of the meeting “exceptional,” saying he hopes the remaining meetings this year are as meaningful.

“It was exactly what we hoped to achieve, in terms of asking people to come, to be present with us, to be authentic and real about the nature of this problem,” he said.

Here are the next town hall meetings, all from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.

  • Oct. 11 – The Forum, 101 Bulldog Lane, Hazard, Ky.
  • Oct. 18 – Kenton County Government Center, 1840 Simon Kenton Way, Covington, Ky.
  • Oct. 26 – UK Student Center, 160 Avenue of Champions, Lexington, Ky.
  • November 1st – Louisville – Simmons College, 1000 S. Fourth Street, Louisville, Ky.
  • Nov.  9 – WKU, 2355 Nashville Road, Bowling Green, Ky.
  • Nov. 29 – Paducah Convention Center, 415 Park St, Paducah, Ky.

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