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Assembly Advances Critical Legislation to Support State and Local Fentanyl Task Forces

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assembly Bill (AB) 474, authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D – Pomona), passed the Assembly Floor with unanimous support. 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. This bill is now moving over to the Senate.

“The fentanyl crisis is plaguing our nation, requiring us to strategize as to how we can combat this crisis and save lives. As part of this strategy, AB 474 will enable the STAC to disrupt transnational criminal organizations trafficking drugs into California to ultimately prevent these deadly opioids from reaching our neighborhoods and killing Californians,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.

Specifically, AB 474 would require the STAC to, among other things, prepare and share intelligence products for public safety entities, analyze tactics and trends or TCOs operating in California, and share information with government decision-makers and state and local public safety officials regarding the extent to which TCOs are trafficking opioids and pose other public safety threats in California.

AB 474 would complement Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis. His plan includes $30 million to expand the California National Guard’s work to prevent drug-trafficking and $15 million over two years to establish and operate the Fentanyl Enforcement Program with the Department of Justice.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, drug-related crime alone has generated more than $100 billion in proceeds in the United States. These profits come with a high toll on human life as the CDC estimates that the opioid drugs these TCOs trafficked were responsible for most of the 100,000+ overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021.

“As a career EMT, I responded to countless calls of residents in distress who had found a loved one that unfortunately overdosed. Today, opioid drugs have only become more deadly and our children are dying from drugs they know little to nothing about. We must do everything to protect our state from threats to our public health, and AB 474 helps us do so,” 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.