Advocates demand $330M in opioid settlements go to drug treatment as NY budget deadline looms

State lawmakers in Albany are still trying to hammer out a deal on the state budget, which is due at midnight.

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2021, 4:41 PM

Updated 1,115 days ago

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State lawmakers in Albany are still trying to hammer out a deal on the state budget, which is due at midnight.
One of the issues being discussed is a $330 million settlement from pharmaceutical companies. The state had filed a suit claiming the companies were aware of the addictive nature of their products, but did nothing to stop them from being over prescribed.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to put this settlement into the state's general fund.
However, a group of recovery advocates from across New York held a rally outside the Capitol on Wednesday to demand that the money be used entirely for drug treatment.
Many in the group are recovering addicts or family members of people who died from overdoses.
"We demand that the governor and the legislature work together to make sure that this money does not go to pave a road, put a building up or erect a bridge to put somebody's name on it. We demand that this money go to the people who need it," says Avi Israel, of Save The Michaels Of The World.
Linda Ventura, of Huntington, adds, "It's 100% blood money. It was earned on the backs of too many people that are stills struggling and/or have passed on and left behind families, children, grandparents — all significant others."
This issue remains unresolved along with many others as a midnight deadline looms for a new state budget.


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