Local municipalities receive first round of opioid settlement payments

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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After nearly four years, 149 local Kentucky governments have begun receiving allocations from the national opioid settlement as of Dec. 15, 2022, according to the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC).

In October, Nicholasville City Clerk Kathy Walker gave the council an announcement from KLC: the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Commission was accepting allocations from cities and counties for settlement money.

The settlement comes from a multistate opioid litigation case against manufacturers and distributors, Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson, for their roles in fueling the ongoing opioid epidemic. The result was a $26 billion national settlement agreement in February 2022.

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From the $26 billion settlement amount, Kentucky will receive $478.1 million to be paid out in installments until 2038. Half of this, approximately $239 Million, will be allocated to cities and states, according to the Kentucky Association of Counties.

Jessamine County

Allocations for Kentucky counties work differently than for cities. For the settlement with developers Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson, counties are set to receive two payments in December 2022 and, after that, one each year from 2023 through 2038.

Jessamine County received $89,815 from the distributor settlement in December 2022. Jessamine County Judge-Executive David West said the fiscal court has not decided where to direct this money. However, allowed allocations are named by the Opioid Abatement Commission.

For the manufacturer settlement with Johnson & Johnson, counties are set to receive five payments in December 2022 and one payment annually through 2038.

Jessamine County received $196,118 from five manufacturer settlement payments in December 2022.

Jessamine County’s estimated allocation total for payments through 2038 is $1,345,979.


Cities will receive one payment annually until 2038. Nicholasville’s December 2022 payment was $28,303.50 and the city will receive $29,745.60 in 2023.

The city commission has yet to announce how it will allocate the funds.


As the least populous of the three entities, Wilmore was set to receive the least with a payment of $4,920.20 in December 2022 and will receive $5,170.89 in 2023.

However, Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater said that Wilmore still needs to receive its payment.

Guidelines for how it’s spent

According to the KLC, all payments received must be spent on issues relating to opioid use disorder, any co-occurring substance abuse disorder, or mental health disorder.

This includes, but is not limited the following:

Reimbursement for any portion of the cost relating to outpatient and residential treatment services

Emergency response services provided by law enforcement or first responders.

Any portion of the cost of administering an opioid antagonist, like Naloxone.

Provide funding for any project which: Ssupports intervention, treatment, and recovery services for persons with opioid use disorder, other substance disorders, or mental health issues, supports detoxification services, or provides access to opioid-abatement-related housing.

See the complete list of allowed uses online at https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/statutes/statute.aspx?id=52961.