Chairman Donald P. Wagner of the Orange County Board of Supervisors called for the County’s support of Senator Umberg’s bill: SB 44 Alexandra’s Law. The bill continues the County’s fight against fentanyl, and potentially will save lives. California’s fentanyl penalties are too lax. The Board’s action authorizes Chairman Wagner to communicate County support for the bill to Senator Umberg and the state legislature.
“The fentanyl issue is urgent, tragically killing a person about every eight minutes in our community. In fact, this poison was the number one cause of death last year for people ages 18-45,” said Chairman Wagner. “Orange County wants justice for the thousands of California families who have lost loved ones. Our County and cities need the legal teeth to hold illicit manufactures and distributors responsible for their crimes. We are imploring the state to partner with us to save lives;
it’s something everyone can —and should —get behind.”
Statistics show the opioid crisis has significantly worsened since fentanyl entered the illicit drug market. Fentanyl causes a fatality approximately every 7-8 minutes and is linked to 64% of total drug fatalities in 2021. Last year’s data show that death by fentanyl poison exceeds death by suicide, auto accidents, and COVID-19. In January 2022, the Board of Supervisors supported a resolution making the community aware of the danger of fentanyl and advocating for tougher penalties. Last month, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support Chairman Wagner’s item that funds Third District school districts to purchase Naloxone. Orange County Sheriff Barnes and District Attorney Todd Spitzer have written letters in support of SB 44.
In California, Driving Under the Influence offenders are read an advisory in court informing them that repeated offenses resulting in death can be charged as manslaughter or murder. SB 44 replicates this program by organizing a statewide Fentanyl Admonishment to be presented to fentanyl dealers and traffickers who actions result in death. Chairman Wagner and the Board of Supervisors are proud to support SB 44 Alexandra’s Law and encourage the fentanyl advisement be codified into law. The public can help by contacting their local state legislator and ask them to support SB 44 today.