Pillion to chair Opioid Abatement Authority

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RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Sen. Todd Pillion (R-Abingdon) will lead a newly-formed authority tasked with administering Virginia’s opioid settlement funds.

The Opioid Abatement Authority elected Pillion as chairman during its organizational meeting Monday in Richmond.

With Virginia expected to receive $530 million as part of a $26 billion national opioid settlement, the authority will be responsible for administering the Virginia Opioid Abatement Fund, which will receive most of Virginia’s portion of the settlement.

As outlined in the statute, the fund’s purpose is to support efforts to treat, prevent, or reduce opioid misuse and abate the opioid epidemic.

“This fund will be instrumental in boosting our continued efforts to tackle this crisis on behalf of all Virginians,” Pillion said in a release. “Whether directly or indirectly, this epidemic affects our entire Commonwealth. The makeup of this authority reflects that. It doesn’t matter your background, political affiliation, or whether you’re from a holler in Lee County like me or the city of Norfolk like Delegate Jones, this epidemic knows no bounds in our communities. That fact requires all of us working together to address this crisis in a way that saves lives and strengthens our communities and workforce.”

Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) was elected vice-chairman of the authority.

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