Fentanyl Task Force legislation signed into law

Senator Kelly Seyarto announces that her bill, SB 19, establishing the California Fentanyl Task Force, has been signed into law.

The task force will mobilize state and local resources to identify and evaluate which strategies will give our communities the best results in combating the multi-faceted fentanyl crisis. It will consider all angles of the issue, such as educating the public, treatment options, preventative measures, and improving public safety.

Membership will consist of various groups of professionals, including healthcare workers, law enforcement, public health agencies, and others, bringing needed stakeholders to the table to take comprehensive action.

“Bringing together groups of professionals that are on the front lines of the fentanyl epidemic will be invaluable in the fight against it,” said Seyarto. “Assembling this task force will help identify the tools we may need to keep our communities safe and hold those involved in the manufacturing and distribution of this illicit substance accountable. If we can succeed in getting the resources necessary to respond, we can bring this epidemic under control.”

In 2020 alone, California experienced nearly 4,000 deaths related to fentanyl overdose, and in 2021, fentanyl overdose became recognized as the leading cause of death of Americans aged 18 to 45.

Previous attempts by the legislature to address various parts of the fentanyl crisis have not resulted in any concrete solutions. Last year, as an Assemblymember, Seyarto introduced a similar bill to SB 19, which died in committee.

Bringing it back this session was critical so California does not lose another year of action in the battle against this threat to our communities.

SB 19 passed through the legislature with bipartisan support and no opposition.