The Legislature has historic year passing the most bills ever to combat fentanyl
- Nate Allbee
- (415) 756-0561
Sacramento – This year the California State Legislature has made historic efforts to address the fentanyl and overdose crisis by passing more than 20 bills on the issue and creating the first select committee dedicated to solving the issues. The State Assembly’s Fentanyl, Opioid Addiction, and Overdose Prevention Committee, led by Committee Chair Matt Haney (D-San Francisco,) is the first committee in the nation that is focused specifically on combating the fentanyl crisis and reducing overdose deaths. The committee convenes leaders from agencies and departments across the state as well as opioid addiction experts; medical professionals; law enforcement leaders; first responders; criminal justice advocates; and scientists to tackle the growing issues of fentanyl deaths.
“The fentanyl epidemic is one of the deadliest public health crises in our nation’s history,” said Haney. “As the Chair of the Select Committee, I applaud my colleagues for their commitment to fighting this poison that is killing our family members. The state needs every tool at its disposal and the bills passed this year are a strong step in the right direction to get people into treatment and get these drugs off our streets.”
Chair Haney introduced six bills to expand treatment related to addiction. Two of them were passed with bi-partisan support in the Legislature and are currently on the Governor’s Desk. AB 663 (Haney): allows medicine for opioid addiction to be dispensed by mobile pharmacies in order to increase treatment to vulnerable communities (like individuals experiencing homelessness.) AB 816 (Haney): allows 16 and 17 year olds who are unable to get consent from their parents and who suffer from opioid addiction to receive medicine and treatment for their addiction.
The other bills passed by the Legislature expand treatment access, increase education, help law enforcement, and increase funding for treatment, and includes:
AB 461 (Ramos): Expands access to fentanyl test strips on California’s college campuses.
SB 10 (Cortese): Requires schools to have an emergency protocol for youth suffering an opioid overdose on campus.
AB 641 (Roth): Allows the State to distribute stronger doses of medicine that reverses overdoses to communities in crisis.
AB 1060 (Ortega): Mandates insurance companies cover medicine that reverses overdoses in their insurance plans.
SB 234 (Portantino): Requires amusement parks, stadiums and concert venues to carry medicine to reverse overdoses.
AB 701 (Villapudua): Increases the penalty and fines for trafficking large amounts of fentanyl.
SB 46 (Roth): Requires individuals with drug offenses to complete a treatment or education program while on probation.
SB 19 (Seyarto): Establishes a first in the state Anti-Fentanyl Task Force.
The Fentanyl Select Committee will continue to convene through the interim recess and the next session and will bring together policymakers to continue to build a strong legislative response to the crisis.