MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul toured the state this week calling on Republican politicians in Madison to stop playing politics and approve plans for already-received opioid settlement funds.
At stops in Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, AG Kaul slammed Republican obstruction and said the more time that goes by, more lives will be at risk. “This epidemic is having an impact on Wisconsin right now and we need to get these resources to Wisconsinites as soon as possible,” Kaul said.
This month, the state of Wisconsin received $6 million of the more than $400 million expected from settlements with makers and distributors of opioids. Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee blocked the release of this funding, rejecting critical investments that would support families and communities in fighting the opioid crisis.
Under AG Kaul, Wisconsin has aggressively pursued pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. In AG Kaul’s first year in office, Wisconsin joined the multistate investigation into opioid distributors and filed suit against Purdue Pharma. Settlements against opioid distributors and manufacturers have already yielded over $400 million to address the opioid epidemic in Wisconsin, with millions more expected.
“Wisconsin families and communities torn apart by the opioid crisis deserve better than the political games being played by Republicans in Madison. It’s time for our Republican-controlled Legislature to stop blocking the release of this critical funding and enable communities across the state to step up and save lives,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Marnie O’Malley. “Republicans must put aside politics and do their jobs serving and protecting the people of Wisconsin. This is why it is crucial that we re-elect Attorney General Josh Kaul in November.”