February 8, 2022
The Senate on Tuesday announced its picks to serve on a new board charged with overseeing the disbursements from the state’s Opioid Settlement Fund.
Key context: Senate leaders selected Joyce Rivera, Lawrence Brown, Joshua Lynch and Stephanie Marquesano as the chamber’s appointees for the 21-member advisory board, which was created under legislation signed last summer.
Appointments to the Opioid Settlement Board had largely been on hold since the law was enacted as the Legislature had yet to take up agreed-upon amendments that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had negotiated before endorsing the original bill.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins sent letters to Gov. Kathy Hochul Monday naming the chamber’s appointees, which will be “effective immediately upon the enactment” of the chapter amendment making its way through the Legislature.
What they said: Stewart-Cousins said in a Tuesday statement that “the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board will play an instrumental role to help New Yorkers struggling with addiction recovery.”
“Although no amount of money can bring back those who were lost, these funds are an important part of securing justice for our New York families,” she said. “I thank the Board for its work, and will continue to fight for all those affected by this deadly epidemic.”
Background: The Assembly Ways and Means Committee is set to consider chapter amendment, NY A8757/ (NY S7870) on Tuesday. The bill cleared the Senate last month.
Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokesperson for Hochul — who took over for Cuomo in August — told POLITICO in January that the governor will “work with the legislature upon passage of the amendment to make the appointments and disburse these funds as quickly as possible to help prevent substance abuse disorders and provide support to New Yorkers in need.”
Attorney General Tish James in November announced Avi Israel, the president and founder of Save the Michaels of the World, as her pick for the board.