Evers signs law to help communities in legal disputes with opioid manufacturers

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed Assembly Bill 374, which is aimed at helping communities in their legal disputes with opioid manufacturers.

The bill, now Wisconsin Act 57, requires the Wisconsin attorney general to cooperate with local governments who are suing manufacturers and distributors as they struggle to recover financially from the opioid epidemic. It also specifies how money from any legal settlement could be used.

“I am signing Assembly Bill 374 because it will help bring much-needed funds to communities throughout Wisconsin to address the opioid pandemic through a settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors. These funds will be used on opioid abatement and mitigation efforts and help ensure that the maximum amount of dollars available from a settlement make it to Wisconsin communities as soon as possible,” said Evers.

Evers did note he was concerned about a provision that would give the state legislature authority to approve any settlement Wisconsin’s executive branch reaches with opioid manufacturers or distributors.

“Despite these serious concerns, I am not willing to risk our ability to maximize the amount of settlement dollars available to Wisconsin by vetoing this bill in its entirety,” he said.

Signed Signing Statement AB 374