November 2, 2023
CONTACT: Jasmine Budnella, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-480-5262
GOVERNOR HOCHUL: DO NOT CLAIM VICTORY ON LEADING THE NATION WITHOUT OVERDOSE PREVENTION CENTERS AUTHORIZED AND EXPANDED
Gov. Hochul Says NY Leads the Nation in Allocating Nearly $193M in Opioid Settlement Funds – Without Acknowledging Overdose Prevention Centers
NEW YORK — Today, the Opioid Settlement Advisory Board released their year two recommendations on how opioid settlement funds should be spent, following Governor Hochul’s announcement that New York has allocated nearly $193 million for the first year of the Opioid Settlement Funds. For the second year in a row, despite Hochul’s past rejection, the Advisory Board included expanding and funding lifesaving Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs). In response VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Marilyn Reyes, VOCAL-NY board member and Users Union leader:
“We are dying in the streets, and Governor Hochul has the audacity to claim victory on allocating opioid settlement funds. She stood in the borough most ravished by overdoses – yet ignored and has still refused to authorize OPCs. It is shameful that to Hochul, saving our lives will lose elections. New Yorkers are tired of press conferences with empty promises that result in more graves and death.
Since Hochul has been in office, 1,746 people have died from a preventable overdose in the Bronx. This is not a victory, it is a disgrace.”
There is $2.6b available to New York State from the Opioid Settlement Funds secured by Attorney General James. States like Rhode Island, have already committed to using opioid settlement money to fund Overdose Prevention Centers.
Last year, Governor Hochul rejected the first year recommendations of her own appointed Opioid Settlement Board to spend settlement money on the expansion of OPCs – citing federal concerns despite the federal government awarded more than $5 million in funding to NYU Langone Health and Brown University’s School of Public Health to study the impact of OPCs in New York and Rhode Island, and the Southern District of New York demanding the state authorized and regulates OPCs.