La Crosse County will enter a settlement agreement with the distributors and manufacturer of opioids. The count also is joining a nationwide initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in county jail.
The county's Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the two resolutions Thursday.
The opioid settlement is the second from a multistate litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors that the county joined, along with 70 other Wisconsin counties, in 2018.
The second settlement is an estimated $2.7 million that will be distributed to the county over 10 to 15 years because each manufacturer and distributor is under a different settlement payout timeline.
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This second batch of defendants includes pharmaceutical distributors like Walgreens, Walmart and CVS and smaller manufacturers of opioids Allergan Finance and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
In 2021, the first settlement concluded and it was determined La Crosse County would get $3.4 million, again paid out over 9 to 18 years.
The initiative to reduce mental illness in jails, called Stepping Up, was launched in 2015 as a partnership between the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.
Tonya van Tol, justice support services manager at the county, said currently there is no alternative place in the county for people with serious mental illnesses who commit a crime. The initiative is an urgent need to address this gap, according to van Tol.
Stepping Up works to provide counties with resources and tools to effect comprehensive, cross-systems changes that address the prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders in local justice systems.
5 spring recipes to try this week
This week's recipe roundup features meals that are a perfect fit for the first day of spring.
This tortellini soup is the perfect dish to transition us from the winter cold into the gently warmer spring. Both the deeply flavorful broth and the cheesy tortellini are cozy enough for winter, but light enough for the brighter months ahead.
Sometimes I crave a simple salad, full of flavor with few ingredients. I was inspired by a salad I had enjoyed at Terra in Century City. White and red Belgian endive leaves along with light green baby gem leaves were combined with thin, crisp pear crescents and creamy blue cheese crumbles.
Serve taquitos on a bed of lettuce with some chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of crema or sour cream on top for a meal. Guacamole, avocado crema, and salsa are also great toppers, or use them as dips if you’re serving the taquitos as a snack or appetizer.
We celebrate St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, in our family. St. Joseph is the patron saint of Sicily, home to my mother’s relatives. He’s credited with saving Sicily’s residents during a devastating drought when locals prayed to him for spring rain to save their crops.
Crisp, tiny pieces of crushed matzo are mixed with an array of nuts, cinnamon and sweet date syrup and baked till browned.