Local governments will soon see opioid money in their coffers


Gonzales County and its four municipalities will split $17,102.42 in proceeds from the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund as Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar begins disbursing the first funds from the statewide opioid litigation settlement under Texas Opioid Multi District Litigation, In Re: Texas Opioid Litigation, MDL No. 2018-63587, in the 152nd District Court of Harris County, Texas.

Hegar announced last week the initial transfer of $47,088,165 from the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund to cities and counties to help them address “opioid-related harms” in their communities. Future transfers will continue over many years based on the terms of the settlement agreement.

“I am pleased to announce we are making these important distributions to local governments to assist in their efforts to counter the effects of opioid abuse in their communities,” Hegar said. “As drug cartels funnel dangerous fentanyl across our southern border, the state of Texas and our local communities stand on the front line of this crisis. We are working tirelessly to ensure these dollars are put to use in the most effective way and to provide resources to entities committed to ending the senseless loss of life associated with the opioid epidemic.”

Agency spokesman Kevin Lyons said the Comptroller’s Office hopes to have “this first tranche of monies sent by the end of the month.” These transfers will continue over many years based on the terms of the statewide opioid litigation settlement agreements.

In the initial disbursement, Gonzales County will receive $10,431.91, while the city of Gonzales will receive $4,672.09. Waelder will receive $1,075.96, while Nixon will get $716.68 and Smiley will get $205.78.

Once all monies have been distributed over the course of the settlement, Gonzales County will have received a total of $33,230, while the city of Gonzales will have received $14,882. Nixon will receive a total of $2,283, while Smiley will receive a total of $655 and Waelder will receive a total of $3,427 for a grand total of $54,477.

In addition to the political subdivision distributions, the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund will fund the Opioid Abatement Fund Council’s distributions to hospital districts and grants to entities working to abate the opioid crisis across the state. This includes Gonzales Healthcare Systems, though the amount they will receive has not been announced.

Meanwhile, Region 4 of the Texas Opioid Council — which includes Aransas, Bee, Brooks, De Witt, Duval, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio and Victoria counties — will receive $27,047,477 for treatment and prevention of opioid-use disorders within the region.

For more information about the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund, including settlement agreements and other related documents, go to the Comptroller’s website.