‘Alexandra’s Law’ revived to combat Fentanyl dealers after prolonged setbacks in state legislature 

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By Carina

Democratic State Senator Thomas J. Umberg is reintroducing a crucial proposal aimed at holding fentanyl dealers accountable for their actions. 

This move comes after similar legislation authored by Umberg faced opposition and was rejected by the California Senate’s Public Safety Committee last year. 

Senator Umberg’s unwavering resolve to combat fentanyl crisis

Umberg’s determination to address the fentanyl crisis is relentless, and he is committed to preventing more tragic losses due to fentanyl poisoning.

“Fentanyl is not going away, and neither am I,” Senator Umberg emphasized in a statement on January 17, marking his determination to combat the fentanyl epidemic. 

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He recognizes the urgent need to address this pressing issue, especially considering its devastating impact on families.

To address the fentanyl crisis, Umberg employed the “gut and amend” process, where Senate Bill 21, focused initially on remote government proceedings, was reconfigured. 

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‘Alexandra’s Law’ proposes stricter penalties for fentanyl dealers 

The rewritten bill now sends a strong warning to convicted fentanyl dealers: if their actions result in deaths, they could face murder charges. 

This approach draws inspiration from the Watson advisement given to those convicted of driving under the influence, where future actions causing death can lead to murder charges.

The proposed legislation is known as “Alexandra’s Law,” named after Alexandra Capelouto, a 20-year-old who tragically died in 2019 after consuming a counterfeit pharmaceutical pill containing a lethal dose of fentanyl. 

Umberg had previously introduced this measure as Senate Bill 44, but it faced rejection in 2023 from Democratic colleagues on the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Revised SB 21 seeks balance in drug treatment and legislative process

To find common ground with opponents of the measure, the new proposal incorporates additional language concerning drug treatment for offenders. 

Umberg acknowledges the concerns and objections raised during previous discussions and is committed to addressing them.

The previous version of SB 21, which focused on remote government proceedings, successfully passed the Senate in May 2023. 

The newly worded measure will now bypass the Senate Public Safety Committee and proceed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

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Sen. Umberg’s renewed effort to combat fentanyl crisis gains momentum in 2024

Senator Umberg’s previous proposal on this issue enjoyed bipartisan support, with over half of the Senate as co-authors and sponsors. 

There is a growing demand for legislative action to address the fentanyl epidemic, and Umberg is optimistic about achieving success in 2024.

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Family members and loved ones who have lost individuals to fentanyl overdoses expressed their frustration during hearings in the past. 

They were disappointed by the Public Safety Committee’s lack of action. With a new legislative path, there is hope that lawmakers will recognize the urgency of addressing the proposal and acting promptly to save lives.

Urgent bipartisan effort to address national fentanyl crisis led by Umberg

Considering the severity of the overdose crisis, with a staggering number of deaths nationwide, Senator Umberg stresses the urgency of addressing the fentanyl epidemic. 

Preventive measures, education, treatment, and holding repeat drug dealers accountable are all essential components of tackling this crisis.

Bipartisan support for addressing the fentanyl crisis is evident, with leaders like Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh emphasizing the importance of holding those who supply illicit fentanyl accountable. 

The goal is to create safe and healthy communities for families and teens.

‘Alexandra’s Law’ gains support for deterring fentanyl distribution

Supporters of “Alexandra’s Law,” including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, argue that this legislation is essential for protecting public safety. 

The law sends a clear message to fentanyl dealers that they will face severe consequences for peddling this deadly poison in communities.

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