Today, Assemblyman Josh Hoover (R-Folsom) announced the introduction of groundbreaking legislation to address the alarming rise of fentanyl in California schools and communities. Assembly Bill 2045 would increase penalties on fentanyl crimes involving minors and add sentence enhancements for criminals who traffick fentanyl within 1,000 feet of school grounds.

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“Our number one job as lawmakers should be protecting our most vulnerable from harm,” Assemblyman Hoover said, in a press release from his office. “We must do more as a Legislature to create a safe environment where our children can learn, grow, and thrive. This bill sends a clear message that those who endanger minors and bring deadly fentanyl into our schools will face severe consequences.”

According the the press release from his office, AB 2045 would classify fentanyl in the same category as other dangerous illicit drugs and would give prosecutors new tools to hold dealers accountable.

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Key Provisions of the Proposed Legislation are listed as follows:

1.       New penalties on the sale of fentanyl to children: The bill seeks to add an additional 2 years to the sentence of any adult who solicits, induces, encourages, or intimidates a minor with the intent that the minor commits a drug crime. If passed, this felony offense will be punishable by 5, 8, or 11 years in state prison.

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2.       Sentence enhancement for fentanyl-related offenses on or near school grounds: Brings fentanyl in line with other drugs like heroin or cocaine in cases where the offense occurs upon or within 1,000 feet of school grounds by adding a 2-year enhancement to the sentence of those who solicit, encourage, or intimidate minors to commit these drug crimes. This enhancement aims to create a safer environment for students attending public or private elementary, vocational, middle, or high schools during school hours or related programs.

3.       Additional punishment for trafficking fentanyl on or near school grounds: Adds fentanyl to the list of illicit drugs already covered under state law for drug trafficking offenses on or near school premises. For adults committing specified drug trafficking offenses within 1,000 feet of a school, the legislation adds an additional punishment of 3, 4, or 5 years. Furthermore, if the offense involves a minor who is at least four years younger than the defendant, an extra enhancement of 3, 4, or 5 years applies, subject to realignment.

Josh Hoover is a Folsom resident, he represents Assembly District 7, which includes the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, and Rancho Cordova and the unincorporated communities of Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Foothill Farms, Gold River, Mather, McClellan Park, North Highlands, Orangevale, and Rosemont.

Photo: California State Capitol/Visit California

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