05302021CM1166MARYVILLE – State Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) championed a new law in Illinois aimed at holding companies accountable who manufacture, distribute and aggressively market opioids to residents.

“Countless families have been devastated by the effects of the nationwide opioid epidemic,” Crowe said. “It’s time for the companies who have played a role in its creation to pay retribution for the lives affected.”

Crowe’s law allows the Illinois attorney general to pursue a full settlement for the state in lawsuits against six opioid manufacturers and three distributors.

Numerous other states and hundreds of local governments across the U.S. have filed opioid-related lawsuits against these companies. In order to reach a resolution and ensure the companies pay the full amount owed, separate governments must work together by participating in the national settlement and releasing their claims against the defendants.

Crowe’s legislation enables the attorney general’s office to take these steps.

Without this legislation, Illinois stands to lose 50% or more of the settlement funds—meaning potentially hundreds of millions of dollars less towards abatement and remediation of the opioid crisis.

“If an appropriate settlement is not reached, families will not receive what is owed to them,” Crowe said. “Although no amount of money can make up for the pain and loss, this funding could support educational and treatment resources to prevent other loved ones from falling victim.”

Senate Bill 215 was signed by the governor Friday and is effective immediately.

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