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New legislative committee to attack fentanyl crisis in California

The California Assembly is holding a special hearing in Sacramento Wednesday morning with a new committee expected to help with the fentanyl crisis in the state.

The meeting will be the first hearing by the New Select Committee on fentanyl, opioid addiction, and overdose prevention. The committee is made up of both Republican and Democratic representatives in the state assembly.

It will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Sacramento, but will also be livestreamed online.

The issue of fentanyl getting into the hands of people and ultimately leading to their death is one seen time and time again.

According to the Overdose Dashboard on the Riverside County website, there were 505 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2022. This number was measured from January 1, 2022, to December 30, 2022.

The number is at 68 people for the year 2023 already.

The dashboard also shows that most of the fentanyl overdose deaths are unintentional. An example of this is a recent case in Riverside County where a woman is being accused of selling fentanyl to a man leading to his death. The victim's family told News Channel 3 the victim took a pill for pain relief following a dental procedure. The pills he bought had fentanyl.

Related Story: Murder charge for Palm Desert woman accused of selling fentanyl that led to man’s death

News Channel 3 spoke with members of the assembly representing local districts ahead of the committee meeting. Greg Wallis who represents the 47th District said,

“This is a bipartisan slate of bills Republicans and Democrats coming together to address this problem. So there’s definitely a bipartisan will here. We all know this isn’t a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it’s a California issue and one of life and death.”

A response on the issue and the new select committee from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia who represents the 56th Assembly District said,

“Fentanyl poisoning is devastating our communities and requires urgent policy action. As the death toll of the fentanyl epidemic rises, I urge my colleagues to come together on a multi-pronged approach to this crisis that will ensure accountability and focused investments in life-saving prevention resources. We will be monitoring the upcoming special hearing closely for recommendations on the most effective legislative direction and support we can swiftly provide to our public safety and community partners on the ground.”

News Channel 3 will have updates on the meeting.

Related Story: Fatal Flaw: I-Team investigates efforts to combat local efforts to combat local efforts to combat Fentanyl crisis

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a news reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.


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