A new bill has been signed into law in California creating a new project grant program that will pay for fentanyl awareness, outreach, and overdose investigation.
AB 2365 received unanimous support in both Senate and Assembly floors and was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom last week.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson first introduced the bill to allow other regions to recreate successful efforts by Fresno law enforcement, education and health leaders who have collaborated to fund law enforcement efforts to track down dealers after an overdose, and to fund billboard campaigns, PSA’s at local movie theaters, radio ads and TikTok videos.
Patterson, in a Zoom meeting addressing the public revealed, “We’re celebrating the passage of the bill anticipating the six programs of California, but we’re also just as serious as we possibly can be about getting a handle on this both through education and mental health, and through law enforcement.”
Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau, representing District 2 and speaking on behalf of Fresno County stated that the board of supervisors have “..now authorized hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last year in the ongoing educational campaign over fentanyl.”
Flindt Anderson, Founder and President of PAIN, Parents and Addicts in Need, who also spoke at Clovis North recently, relayed, “I wanna thank Governor Newsom for signing this bill and all that were involved in getting this thing passed today. It is something that is one of the most vital and important topics in the history of the United States and in the history of California.”
Jim Patterson spoke again on the importance of reaching a specific demographic of the public, “It doesn’t do any good if we put together messages that bore young people or are not put together in ways that will attract their interest, particularly in this age of the large amount of kinds of photography, kinds of language, kinds of methodology of communication.”
A final piece of information that Patterson believed “indicates the seriousness of our leadership up in Sacramento” was that the California State Assembly had authorized the organization of a select committee on fentanyl, addiction and recovery. Patterson stated that the committee has already been organized and that the Speaker of the Assembly has asked Patterson to join the committee.
This committee will hold hearings up and down the state as they work toward helping to bring awareness and additional legislative and funding recommendations.
“It’s gonna take a lot more funding than this bill puts forward, but this is the example, this is the test case.”