In 2020-2021, settlements were reached nationwide with Johnson & Johnson and the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies to resolve claims by state and local governments that these companies contributed to the opioid epidemic.
In August 2021, the Colorado Attorney General and local government leaders agreed to a joint framework for distributing the funds Colorado stands to receive from litigation settlements. All 64 counties and most municipalities signed onto the Colorado Opioids Summary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established how opioid funds were to be divided and distributed within the State of Colorado. The broad participation by local governments ensured Colorado will receive its maximum share of funding from legal settlements.
Additional settlements continue to be reached, providing more funding for distribution. All settlement funds are required to be used for opioid abatement through prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies.
The settlements will be distributed according to a formula spelled out in the MOU:
- 10% directly to the State
- 20% directly to participating local governments
- 10% to specific abatement infrastructure projects
- 60% directly to Regions
El Paso and Teller Counties “opted-out” of the direct 20%, directing it to control of the Region 16 Opioid Abatement Council.
Regional Opioid Abatement Council
As part of the MOU framework, each region is required to create a regional council to develop and implement a 2-year rolling plan outlining the funding uses.
The Region 16 Opioid Abatement Council is comprised of the following voting members:
- Tom Strand, COS City Council
- Erik Stone, Teller County Commissioner
- Stan Bishop, Teller County Undersheriff
- Longinos Gonzalez, EPC Commissioner
- Carrie Geitner, EPC Commissioner
- Michael Allen, Fourth Judicial District Attorney
- Adrian Vasquez, COS Police Chief
- Randy Royal, COS Fire Chief
- Nancy Henjum, COS City Council
- Troy Johnson, Fountain City Attorney
- Leon Kelly, EPC Coroner
- Joseph Roybal, EPC Sheriff
- Denise Howell, Manitou Springs City Manager
- Frank Salvato, Cripple Creek City Manager
Non-voting members: Municipalities who will cycle onto the voting membership in future years.
- Glori Thurston, Victor City Manager
- Chris Deisler, Woodland Park Police Chief
- John Lupton, Town of Monument Police Commander
Additional Non-voting members:
- Susan Wheelan, EPC Public Health Director
- DeAnn Ryberg, EPC Deputy Public Health Director
- Kim Mauthe, Teller County Director of Human Services
- Michelle Wolff, Teller County Public Health Director
- Bridgette Fuson, Department of Human Services (Monument Rep)
Non-voting community members:
- Jack Briggs
- Laura Ridenour
- Matthew Riviere
- Eric Stein Bronsky
- David Albrecht
- Jason Jorgensen
- Sunny Bryant, EPC Deputy Administrator
- Pete Carey, EPC Justice Services Executive Director
- Amanda Grant, EPC Project Manager
Official meeting notices and agendas are available at https://www.agendasuite.org/iip/elpaso.
- September 12, 2023 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Citizens Service Center, 1675 Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80907)