(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced that all required special districts in Idaho have agreed to participate in the nationwide opioid settlements with Johnson & Johnson and three major opioid distributors. The entities’ total participation ensures Idaho will receive its maximum settlement award and that the state receives its allocation as soon as possible.
Idaho’s maximum allotment is $119 million. In order to receive that amount on the fastest timeline, Idaho needed to obtain releases from certain school, hospital and fire districts across the state. The state received the final release last week.
As a result, the first settlement payments could arrive in Idaho in April. Additionally, the first four years of payments from Johnson & Johnson will be accelerated and paid to the state this year.
“I want to thank the special districts who saw the importance in signing on to the settlements,” Wasden said. “This unanimous participation ensures the best possible outcome. The state and local jurisdictions who now stand to receive settlement money are well positioned to continue fighting the health crisis created by opioid addiction in Idaho.”
As part of the settlement, certain special districts were identified in each participating state based on the size of the population they serve. The special districts who participated in the settlements are North Ada County Fire & Rescue, Eagle Fire, Star Fire, Shelley Firth Fire, Nampa Fire Protection District, Middleton Fire, Kootenai Health, Madison County Fire, Meridian Rural Fire Protection District, Whitney Fire, Kuna Rural Fire, Blackfoot Snake River Fire District, Central Fire Protection District, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue, Northern Lakes Fire Protection, Moscow Fire, Bonneville County Fire Protection District #1, Caldwell Rural Fire, Twin Falls Rural Fire, North Bannock Fire, North Cassia Fire, Minidoka County Fire, Gem County Fire Prot. #1, West Ada School District and Boise School District.
All funds must be spent on opioid remediation programs. Under the Idaho Opioid Settlement Intrastate Allocation Agreement, opioid settlement funds will be divided with 40% going directly to participating counties and cities and 20% to regional public health districts. The remaining 40% will be allocated to the State-Directed Opioid Settlement Fund to be appropriated by the Idaho legislature based on recommendations by the Idaho Behavioral Health Council.