Sacramento – Today, Assemblyman Devon Mathis joined his colleagues to force a vote on legislation to address the fentanyl crisis as the Assembly Public Safety Committee denied hearings for a number of common-sense fentanyl-related bills.
“I was proud to join my fellow Republicans in calling for the Legislature to act on this urgent matter. Our brave men & women in law enforcement have been working valiantly to protect our state from the destruction caused by the rapid spread of fentanyl but this body has refused to give them the tools they need to keep us safe. I am calling on all Legislators to put aside partisanship and come together to go after the predators who are pushing this dangerous substance onto our communities. ”
Assembly Republicans demand action now and brought both Democrat and Republican-authored common sense bills to the Assembly floor for a vote today as the Public Safety Committee refuses to take up any fentanyl-related legislation until June.
However, a June hearing effectively forces all legislation to be pushed to 2024 at the earliest, as a June committee hearing misses all key legislative deadlines needed to pass any of these bills into law this year:
- AB 33 (Jasmeet Bains) – to establish a Fentanyl Addiction and Overdose Prevention Task Force.
- AB 367 (Brian Maienschein) – add a sentencing enhancement for fentanyl dealers who kill or seriously injure people they sell the drug to.
- AB 675 (Esmeralda Soria) – prohibit carrying a gun while in possession of fentanyl.
- AB 955 (Cottie Petrie-Norris) – increase penalties for fentanyl dealers who sell on social media.
- AB 1058 (Jim Patterson) – increase penalties for those possessing large quantities of fentanyl.
In 2021, 5,961 Californians died due to fentanyl, based on the latest numbers provided by the California Department of Public Health. This is a far cry from the 82 fentanyl-related deaths reported just over a decade ago in 2012. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is “a highly addictive synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.”
Assembly Republicans have been active in calling attention to this issue and invited a number of victims’ families from across the state to join them at the Capitol this past week to share their testimony and demand action now on the fentanyl crisis.