Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo (R,C-Staten Island) testified before the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board on Monday. During his testimony, Pirozzolo pointed out that Staten Island has unfairly been left out of the $1.5 billion settlement drug companies are paying toward overdose prevention resources across the state. Pirozzolo will introduce legislation in Albany if this lack of funding to Staten Island is not immediately addressed by the advisory board.
“Once again, Staten Island is the forgotten borough in the allocation of this settlement fund,” said Pirozzolo. “Drug use and tragic overdose deaths don’t fall into a formula, and they don’t exclusively happen in areas with a publicly-funded hospital, they happen across our state, and unfortunately occur right here in our backyard. Staten Island continues to be affected by opioid deaths and overdoses like our inner boroughs and it is unfathomable that we were excluded from this vital fund.
“I made it a point to mention that I will use every recourse available, including but not limited to legislation or litigation to ensure Staten Island is included in future payouts and that we are equitably paid back what is owed since the administration of this program began. Furthermore, I requested that a Staten Islander be appointed to the Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board to ensure smooth implementation and transparent distribution of these funds.
“I would like to thank Sen. Andrew Lanza, Assemblyman Charles Fall, Assemblyman Michael Reilly, Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, Councilman David Carr and Councilman Joe Borelli for supporting these efforts for all our constituents and the collective good of Staten Island.”
Watch Pirozzolo’s full testimony here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1n729m5thuSHZ8pp3PpKClQehqt8c75kh/view?usp=share_link