Ahead of Fentanyl Hearing, Assembly Republicans Unveil Online Fentanyl Death Tracker While Democrats Drag Their Feet

SACRAMENTO – To mark today’s joint hearing on the fentanyl crisis (at which no action will be taken or bills heard), Assembly Republicans are unveiling an online tracker to estimate how many Californians have been killed by fentanyl since the beginning of the year. So far in 2023, nearly 2,300 Californians have lost their lives to fentanyl. For months, Democrats have debated, delayed and distracted from taking any real action on the fentanyl crisis. With this tracker, Democrats will be reminded that their inaction is costing lives. 

It is becoming clear that Democrats are content with the same inaction on fentanyl dealers and it needs to be stated clearly: this is costing lives,” said Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher. “This is a crisis, and it’s time Democrats started treating it like one. How many more lives will it take for them to act?

On March 21st, the chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee announced he would refuse to consider a number of fentanyl-related bills, saying he would discuss the issue in the fall and consider legislation in 2024. 

Following an outcry by families of fentanyl victims, law enforcement and Assembly Republicans, the Public Safety Committee held a hearing at which bills to crack down on fentanyl traffickers were either watered down or killed. Democrats explained their votes by arguing that fentanyl should be considered a public health issue rather than a public safety problem. 

Last week, the Assembly Appropriations Committee, without a vote, killed six bills to address the crisis from a public health perspective

The tracker can be viewed at www.ASMRC.org. The estimate was derived from the pace of fentanyl deaths in 2021, when 5,722 Californians were killed by fentanyl.