AG Kris Mayes sues Arizona over plan to use $115 million in opioid settlement funds for budget deficit

June 20, 2024 – Attorney General Kris Mayes sued Arizona on Thursday in an attempt to block the state from using $115 million in opioid settlement funds to remedy budget deficits.

Mayes said the decision by the Arizona Legislature and Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to use the funding for purposes not related to preventing opioid use was illegal. An emergency stay will be in place through July 5.

“In their rush to end the session, GOP leaders and the governor ignored other viable options to balance the budget, such as utilizing the rainy-day fund, which has now reached approximately $1.4 billion,” Mayes, a Democrat, said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM. “This is outrageous. Every Arizonan should ask why the opioid funds were not protected and used to support our communities and prevent opioid use as intended.”

The budget, passed by the Legislature over the weekend and signed by Hobbs on Tuesday, includes using $115 million in settlement dollars to shore up funding in the budget year that ends on July 1 and the following year for the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry.

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