SACRAMENTO, CA – Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) released the following statement in response to the Governor’s 2023-24 January Budget Proposal.
“There are an endless number of priorities the State Budget must consider, but when it comes to combatting the opioid epidemic this proposal needs a lot of work. Naloxone is important, but it is not the solution to this problem. The Governor’s proposal puts more than 80% of new funding into naloxone distribution while ignoring addiction treatment entirely. By the time someone is being given naloxone to save their life, the system has already failed.
“Fentanyl overdose is the leading cause of death in the United States for adults between the ages of 18-45, and the number of adolescent deaths linked to fentanyl has quadrupled since 2019. This is a crisis that cannot be ignored anymore, and California needs to move beyond band-aid solutions that fail to address the root causes of the problem. Our kids deserve better.
“I have introduced Assembly Bill 33 to create a statewide Fentanyl Task Force that will bring together health care professionals, community organizations, and law enforcement to solve this crisis at every level. That starts with addiction treatment, public awareness, and accountability for drug traffickers.
“In more than 150 pages, the Governor’s budget summary fails to mention water storage even once. Californians have weather whiplash after multiple years of extreme drought have given way to dangerous flooding and broken levees. Instead of capturing and storing this excess water to prepare for the next drought, billions of gallons are being dumped into the ocean. Nearly a decade later, it’s time to stop dragging our feet and finally build the water storage projects that the public voted for in 2014. We also need to maximize existing reservoir storage and dial up the Delta pumps to get more water to South Valley cities and farms.”