With just two weeks left in the 2023 legislative session, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) delivered a letter to Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) requesting an official update about the supposed fentanyl “workgroup” launched earlier this year. Leader Jones also urges Democrat lawmakers to pass critical legislation that will help combat the fentanyl crisis such as the bipartisan Senate Bill 44.
“As we enter the final weeks of the legislative session, we are running out of time to address the fentanyl crisis and pass SB 44,” said Leader Jones. “The Pro Tem assured the public that she was forming a workgroup of senators to help move fentanyl legislation forward this year. With session coming to an end, we cannot allow this stalling to go on any longer and are formally requesting an update about this supposed working group. I stand ready to work with the Pro Tem, our Democrat colleagues, and the governor to get this legislation passed before the September 14 deadline.”
On May 9, 2023, Pro Tem Atkins assured Californians when she told CBS 8 in San Diego that the Senate created a workgroup to help pass legislation on fentanyl, including SB 44. Despite numerous requests for updates, Senate Democratic leadership has not provided any substantive information. Jones’s letter requests an official update on the workgroup.
You can read the entire letter here.
Jones urges the Pro Tem to pass the critical bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 44 by Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) and Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) to help hold repeat fentanyl dealers accountable and ensure they are fully aware of the consequences for selling this lethal drug. Specifically, the measure requires courts to inform individuals convicted of fentanyl sales and manufacturing-related offenses that subsequent offenses could result in a charge of voluntary manslaughter or murder.