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CA lawmakers supply proposals to handle fentanyl disaster

Fentanyl has killed hundreds of Californians.

In 2021 alone, primarily based on preliminary California Department of Public Health data, there have been 5,722 fentanyl-related deadly overdoses within the state. That features 224 amongst teenagers aged 15 to 19.

For years, the households of those that died from fentanyl — an artificial opioid that’s 100 instances stronger than morphine — have pleaded with California lawmakers to handle the disaster.

Because the 2023-24 legislative session will get underway, lawmakers on each side of the aisle have launched payments to just do that.

From cracking down on fentanyl sellers to requiring life-saving naloxone be saved in colleges and gasoline stations, right here’s a take a look at the totally different approaches legislators are taking to handle the disaster.

Legal crackdown

Senate Bill 237, by Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, would add a number of years to sentences for fentanyl possession, distribution and trafficking, in some instances doubling the period of time.

Present legislation punishes fentanyl possession for functions of sale with two to 4 years in county jail. Grove’s invoice would improve that to 4 to 6. Transportation and distribution at present carries three to 5 years in a county lockup, which Grove’s invoice bumps to seven to 9. Lastly, present legislation additionally punishes fentanyl trafficking with three to 9 years in county jail. Grove’s invoice raises that to seven to 13 years.

In a press release to The Bee, Grove stated that fentanyl deaths are “a horrific disaster that’s devastation households throughout our nation.”

“Fentanyl not solely takes a life, however it additionally causes a lifetime of ache and struggling for customers, their households and mates,” Grove stated.

The invoice is backed by all the Senate Republican Caucus, although it faces a steep climb within the Democratic super-majority-controlled Legislature.

However Republicans aren’t the one ones seeking to crack down on fentanyl.

Sen. Marie Alvarado-Gil, D-Oakdale, has launched a invoice, Senate Bill 226, to make it a criminal offense to own fentanyl whereas carrying a loaded firearm.

Narcan in colleges, gasoline stations and amusement parks

Senate Bill 234, by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, and Assembly Bill 19, by Assemblyman Joe Patterson, R-Rocklin, each require California public Okay-12 colleges to keep up a provide of naloxone — higher often called Narcan — on-site to take care of overdoses.

“The true epidemic in my district is children’ entry to lethal counterfeit drugs. Fentanyl-related deaths in in Placer County elevated 450% between 2019 and 2021 with half of the victims being below 25 years previous,” Patterson stated in a press release.

Portantino’s SB 234 goes additional. It will require to constitution colleges, California group schools and campuses within the California State College and College of California techniques, in addition to all personal schools and universities, to keep up Narcan provides. Stadiums, live performance venues and amusement parks would additionally need to comply.

”The place present legislation makes it non-obligatory to make use of Narcan for emergency functions, SB 234 would require that it’s available,” Portantino stated in a press release.

Assembly Bill 24, by Assemblyman Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, would prolong that very same requirement to bars, gasoline stations, public libraries and single-room occupancy lodges in counties which might be experiencing an opioid overdose disaster, as decided by the California Division of Public Well being.

Establishing a job drive

Fentanyl is a bipartisan subject, and lawmakers each Republican and Democrat have payments to ascertain a job drive to handle the issue.

Assemblywoman Jasmeet Bains, D-Delano, has launched Assembly Bill 33 to create a statewide fentanyl job drive “with a view to establish and deal with the fentanyl disaster as a part of the opioid epidemic on this state,” in response to the legislative digest for the invoice.

Sen. Kelly Seyarto, R-Murrieta, has authored Senate Bill 19, which might create an anti-fentanyl abuse job drive, chaired by the Legal professional Basic Rob Bonta or his designee, for “accumulating and organizing knowledge on the character and extent of fentanyl abuse in California and evaluating approaches to extend public consciousness of fentanyl abuse,” in response to the legislative digest.

Seyarto’s invoice additional requires the duty drive to report on its findings by no later than July 1, 2025.

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Profile Image of Andrew Sheeler

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s distinctive political local weather for The Sacramento Bee. He has coated crime and politics from inside Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the College of Alaska Fairbanks.

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