Attorney General Letitia James on Monday launched a statewide tour to highlight the distribution of $1.5 billion in settlement money from those deemed responsible for widespread opioid addiction and overdoses in New York and around the country.
The tour comes, too, as James is increasingly seen as a potential candidate for governor next year in what could be a competitive Democratic primary.
James' tour, which is starting in the Bronx and on Long Island, will have funds distributed to 10 regions around New York.
The funds are being drawn from a March 2019 lawsuit reached with manufacturers and distributors of opioids. All told, James' office said the tour will make "stops in dozens of counties" this month across New York.
“For more than two decades, New Yorkers have experienced the dire and deadly effects of opioids, but today we are starting the process of delivering up to $1.5 billion to New York’s 62 counties to help our communities rebuild,” James said. “Today, we begin to heal New York with these funds that will help turn the tide on the opioid crisis. As we embark on a tour across the state, we are ensuring every region and every county gets financial help to recover from the devastation that opioids have inflicted on them."
The money from the settlements is meant to help those struggling with addiction, as well as prevention, treatment and recovery.