On Thursday, September 8, 2022, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on Thursday voted 16-0 to modify a plan to spend $31 million in funds from an opioid lawsuit settlement. DHS initially submitted a spending proposal to JFC in July 2022, but an anonymous JFC member objected, resulting in the September 8 committee meeting and vote.
The committee’s changes to the DHS plan include:
- Providing $3 million for law enforcement agencies, with $1 million reserved for those in counties or municipalities with 70,000 or fewer people.
- Adding $1 million more to the plan for medication-assisted treatment, bring the total to $2 million.
- Providing $1 million to expand the state's “hub and spoke” pilot model for Medicaid recipients with substance use disorders and other medical conditions that pose barriers to their recovery.
- Providing $750,000 for prevention efforts by the Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin.
- Reducing the plan’s $11 million for capital projects to $10 million, requiring DHS to support a capital project expanding beds for inpatient treatment of pregnant and postpartum women like the expansion of Meta House in Milwaukee, and mandating the state agency to distribute at least 30 percent of the remaining funds for projects in counties with fewer than 500,000 residents.
- Cutting $2 million from the plan to pilot family support centers that would have helped family members and friends of people who are actively using drugs, have experienced an overdose or died from an overdose.
- Reducing the plan’s amount for school-based substance use prevention curriculums and programs from $2 million to $250,000.
- Cutting $1 million from the plan for local public health departments and community organizations to address the root causes behind substance use.
- Requiring DHS to report to the committee by the end of the year and on a quarterly basis on their progress in awarding funds and how much recipients have spent.