Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, expressed frustration at the Senate Public Safety Committee’s failure to advance a bill he coauthored aimed at bringing accountability to the fentanyl crisis.
“It is absurd that this simple measure was killed in committee. We have laws on the books holding people who knowingly drive drunk accountable. The same standard should apply to fentanyl dealers who know that their actions might kill someone,” Wilk said in a prepared statement.
The bipartisan Senate Bill 44, by Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, also known as “Alexandra’s Law,” has 41 coauthors. It would require those convicted of a fentanyl-related offense to be given a written advisory telling them that they could face future criminal consequences if another person dies as a result of their actions.
Fentanyl was the No. 1 cause of death last year for people ages 18-45 in the United States. The synthetic drug causes a fatality every seven minutes, and is linked to 64% of total drug fatalities, according to the statement issued by Wilk’s office.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria testified at Tuesday’s hearing, sharing harrowing stories of fentanyl’s effect on their cities and urged the committee to pass the bill.
Wilk was also in the room to voice his strong support.
“Almost every community has been affected by the tragedy of fentanyl overdoses, yet this reasonable bill could not even make it out of its first legislative committee,” Wilk added. “We need every tool available if we want to stop more senseless deaths.”