An opioid settlement resolution that previously attracted controversy among city officials before being tabled will be considered by The Colony City Council in its upcoming meeting on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s meeting will be the last city council meeting before the deadline for cities and counties to join the settlement, which is Jan. 2.
If approved, the resolution would authorize the City Manager’s office to broker an agreement between The Colony and the Texas Attorney General’s Office (TAG) to join a settlement that, depending on how many counties and municipalities participate, could potentially award Texas $1.5 billion.
The settlement funds come from the “Global Opioid Settlement,” a $26 billion settlement reached by four major pharmaceutical companies and various state attorneys general in the United States. The payments will be made by pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the three largest drug wholesalers in the United States: Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen.
While council governments in neighboring cities such as Frisco, Plano and Coppell have unanimously signed onto the opioid settlement with a consent agenda vote, The Colony City Council deliberated on the resolution for over 90 minutes in an Oct. 6 meeting.
The resolution was tabled as members of council, including then-Mayor Joe McCourry, argued that city and county governments are being given an insufficient portion of the settlement.
Under the terms of TAG’s settlement agreement, city and county governments would receive 15% of the total recovery, while 70% would go into a “Texas Opioid Abatement Fund” that was established by the Texas State Legislature in June. The remaining 15% would go to TAG.
While TAG officials said cities and counties could be given more money from the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund to support addiction treatment and prevention measures, they did not clarify to members of council how the funds would be dispersed.
“It just seems like there’s a big bucket of money out there that you guys are saying you might be able to get – ‘we’re gonna give it to this, but we can’t tell you what the rules are yet,’” City Manager Troy Powell said to TAG staff in the Oct. 6 meeting.
According to TAG’s settlement allocation term sheet, The Colony would receive $114,297 if cities and counties were collectively given $150 million, while Denton County would receive $1,132,298.