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Legislation to Strategically Combat the Ongoing Opioid Epidemic Heads to Governor Newsom

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Assembly Bill (AB) 474, authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D – Pomona), passed both houses of the State Legislature and is heading to Governor Newsom for his final signature. This vital legislation would require the State Threat Assessment Center (STAC) within the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to support State and local fentanyl task forces.

“Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) continue to threaten our State and supply the opioid drugs killing Californians. As part of the overall strategy to combating the illegal opioid crisis, we must disrupt these networks of criminals and get opioid drugs off our streets. AB 474 enables California to do so,” 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 in support of efforts to prevent, prepare for, mitigate, and respond to all crimes and all hazards impacting California citizens and critical infrastructure while preserving civil liberties, individual privacy, and constitutional rights.

Under AB 474, the STAC specifically shall prepare and share intelligence products for public safety entities, analyze tactics and trends of 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.  

This bill will also complement the Governor’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis, which 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 within the Department of Justice to combat manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking.

“I find it critical that we do everything we can to protect our State from threats to our public health. Allowing the State to gain insights on these criminal organizations will enable us to fight back and ultimately end the opioid epidemic,” added Assemblymember Rodriguez.

Assemblymember Rodriguez (Linktree) 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.