In a demonstration of unwavering leadership, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) and members of the California Senate Republican Caucus have joined forces with Assembly Republicans and Democrats to co-author Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 12. This bipartisan measure aims to ensure that fentanyl dealers are fully aware of the severe consequences of selling this deadly drug and to hold them accountable. Under ACA 12, individuals convicted of fentanyl sales and manufacturing-related offenses would be advised by the courts that subsequent offenses could result in charges of voluntary manslaughter or murder.
Once approved by the Senate and Assembly, ACA 12 will offer voters a crucial opportunity to address an issue that claims the lives of nearly 6,000 Californians each year. The bipartisan measure is set to be presented to voters during the November 5, 2024 election.
Named after Alexandra Capelouto, a young woman who tragically lost her life to fentanyl poisoning in 2019, ACA 12 holds significant personal meaning. Senate Bill 44, another bipartisan measure introduced earlier this year and named after Alexandra, sought to hold deadly drug dealers accountable but unfortunately failed to pass the Senate Public Safety Committee twice. Matt Capelouto, Alexandra’s father, has emerged as a vocal advocate in the fight for reform, determined to prevent further tragedies.
Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones emphasized the urgency of addressing the fentanyl crisis, which continues to ravage countless lives across California. In the face of legislative inaction, Jones and his Republican colleagues have turned to the voters to determine the best course of action. ACA 12, if approved, will play a crucial role in holding repeat offenders accountable and striving to end this dangerous epidemic.
Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) highlighted the importance of protecting citizens from the perils of illicit drugs, with a particular focus on the risks associated with fentanyl. The measure ensures that individuals involved in drug-related crimes are well-informed about the potential legal consequences, including the possibility of facing homicide charges in cases of fatal outcomes. By raising awareness and promoting accountability, the aim is to prevent tragedies and prioritize public safety.
Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) expressed his pride in co-authoring ACA 12 and sending a clear warning to those who target vulnerable individuals, holding them responsible if they knowingly sell illegal drugs containing fentanyl.
Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) addressed the alarming rise in fentanyl-related deaths, emphasizing the need for meaningful legislation to hold fentanyl dealers accountable. With the majority party’s refusal to act, Grove expressed support for ACA 12, advocating for placing decision-making power in the hands of California voters.
Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) stressed the urgent need to confront the devastating consequences of fentanyl abuse and hold responsible individuals accountable. As fentanyl remains the leading cause of death among young people, Seyarto affirmed that any effort to deter its availability in California is a worthy cause.
Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) expressed disappointment in the California legislature’s failure to hold fentanyl dealers accountable, considering it a disregard for the victims and their grieving families. Wilk firmly believes that if the legislature refuses to act on this critical issue, it is imperative to involve the people in decision-making.
The leadership displayed by Senate Republicans, spearheaded by Senator Brian Jones, highlights their unwavering commitment to protecting the citizens of California. By championing ACA 12 and calling for accountability, they are taking a critical step towards curbing the devastating impact of fentanyl on communities throughout the state.
California Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan ACA 12 to Let Voters Decide on Fentanyl Consequences
SACRAMENTO – Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) and members of the California Senate Republican Caucus joined Assembly Republicans along with Assembly and Senate Democrats in co-authoring Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 12 that would ask voters if fentanyl dealers should be made fully aware of the consequences for selling the deadly drug and be held accountable. Specifically, the bipartisan measure requires the courts to advise individuals convicted of fentanyl sales and manufacturing-related offenses that subsequent offenses could result in a charge of voluntary manslaughter or murder.
Once ACA 12 is approved by the Senate and Assembly, voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on this critical issue that is killing nearly 6,000 Californians every year. If the bipartisan ACA 12 goes to the voters, they will have a chance to vote on it during the November 5, 2024 election.
ACA 12 is named after 20-year-old Alexandra Capelouto who died before Christmas in 2019 after taking one counterfeit pill that contained a deadly dose of fentanyl. Senate Bill 44, a bipartisan measure that is named after Alexandra, was introduced earlier this year to hold deadly dealers accountable, but failed twice to pass out of the Senate Public Safety Committee. Alexandra’s father Matt Capelouto has been a vocal advocate on this crisis as he fights for reform.
“Fentanyl is destroying the lives of too many Californians and something must be done. Since this Legislature has failed to act quickly, California Republican lawmakers are asking voters to decide how to tackle the fentanyl crisis. If approved, the bipartisan ACA 12 will help hold repeat, deadly drug dealers accountable and work towards ending the dangerous epidemic,” said Senate Minority Leader Jones.
Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) said, “This measure aims to protect our citizens from the dangers of illicit drugs, specifically highlighting the risks associated with fentanyl. It will ensure that all those involved in drug-related crimes are informed of the potential legal consequences, including the possibility of being charged with homicide if someone dies as a result. By raising awareness and promoting accountability, we can prevent tragedies and prioritize public safety.”
“Inaction is not an option when it comes to addressing the fentanyl crisis,” said Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). “I’m proud to be a co-author of ACA 12 and provide a warning to those predators who are targeting our youth that they should be held responsible if they knowingly sell an illegal drug that includes fentanyl.”
“The fentanyl crisis is one of the leading causes of death for young adults in the United States,” said Shannon Senator Grove (R-Bakersfield). “Yet the majority party refuses to pass meaningful legislation to address this crisis by holding fentanyl dealers accountable, which is why I am supporting ACA 12. Since Sacramento politicians won’t act, let’s put the decision making power in the hands of California voters.”
“Californians are falling victim to drug dealers who prey on the easy access to fentanyl. It is as important as ever that we hold those responsible accountable for the damage they leave in their wake, including potential charges when their actions lead to death. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for our young people, and anything we can do to deter from the rising availability of it to Californians is a worthwhile effort,” said Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta).
“The California legislature’s refusal to hold fentanyl dealers accountable for their deadly actions is frankly a slap in the face to the victims and their families,” said Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “If the legislature won’t act on this critical issue, then it’s time to send it to the people.
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