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Assemblymember Rodriguez Introduces Legislation to Fight the Ongoing Opioid Epidemic Plaguing the Nation

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D – Pomona) introduced AB 474, working to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic affecting California. This legislation would require the State Threat Assessment Center (STAC) within Cal OES to prioritize cooperation with state and local efforts to illuminate, disrupt, degrade, and dismantle criminal networks trafficking opioid drugs that threaten California.

“As we are facing an opioid crisis, it is critical that we do everything we can to protect our State from threats to our public health. Transnational Criminal Organizations pose such a threat and have generated $100 billion from drug-related crimes alone. We must, to the best of our ability, disrupt these networks of criminals and get opioid drugs off of our streets,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.   

The State Threat Assessment Center (STAC) serves as California’s information-sharing clearinghouse of strategic threat analysis and situational awareness reporting to statewide leadership and the public safety community. This supports the State’s efforts to prevent, prepare for, mitigate, and respond to all crimes and all hazards impacting Californians.

AB 474 would require STAC to prepare and share intelligence products for public safety entities and analyze tactics and trends of Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) operating in California. STAC would then be required to share this information with government decision-makers and state and local public safety officials to highlight the extent to which TCOs are trafficking opioids and pose other public safety threats in California.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California suffered 7,175 deaths from opioid overdose in 2021 alone. Of those overdoses, 5,961 were related to fentanyl. According to the CDC, opioids trafficked by TCOs were responsible for most of the 100,000+ overdose deaths in the nation between April 2020 and April 2021.

“Fentanyl and other opioids are killing Californians, and related deaths continue to increase. Our children have been severely affected by this crisis and are dying from drugs they likely know little to nothing about. Allowing our State to gain insights and information on TCOs and other threats to California is the first step in fighting back and stopping the opioid epidemic,” added Assemblymember Rodriguez. 

Assemblymember Rodriguez (Twitter) represents the 53rd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and Upland. He is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management.