Saving Lives From Deadly Fentanyl The Aim of WA Lawmaker
14th District State Representative Gina Mosbrucker is very concerned about people dying of overdoses in Washington State.
MOSBRUCKER HEARD FROM VICTIM FAMILY MEMBERS DURING A TOUR OF THE DISTRICT TO TALK ABOUT FENTANYL
Last year Mosbrucker traveled the district holding informational forums to talk about ways to save lives in the future. Last year Yakima saw 94 overdose deaths with more than 50% of the deaths connected to fentanyl. But the largest county in the state, King County saw more than 1,000 fentanyl related overdose deaths.
AFTER THE TOUR MOSBRUCKER IS TAKING ACTION WITH TWO BILLS
Mosbrucker says the stories from family members who lost loved ones and from those fighting to break the addiction have been heartbreaking. As a result Mosbrucker is vowing to fight to save lives in the 2024 session with two major bills:
House Bill 2396 - Also known as “Ivan’s Law.”
THE BILL IS NAMED AFTER YAKAMA NATION RESIDENT IVAN HOWTOPAT
Howtopat was addicted to fentanyl, had been arrested and "died in a jail cell on May 20 last year and had fentanyl in his system when he hanged himself." Mosbrucker says his mother shared his story at Mosbrucker’s fentanyl community meetings and Mosbrucker says she decided the name the bill after him.
THE BILL CALLS FOR A "NOT EVEN ONCE" CAMPAIGN
The bill starts an outreach campaign that says “Not even once!” meaning that it only takes one time to get addicted. Among other things the bill also asks people who have been jailed for substance abuse and have sobered up these words: “Would you like to get help now?” before they are released.
A SECOND BILL FUNDS THE TRAINING OF POLICE DOGS WHO SNIFF FOR DRUGS
The second bill is House Bill 1635 – Fentanyl-detecting police dogs.
If passed the law would require the Criminal Justice Training Commission to develop model standards for the training and certification of canine teams to detect fentanyl by Dec.1, 2024.
THE BILL PROVIDES PROTECTION
The bill provides immunity to state/local governments, law enforcement agencies, canine handlers from civil liability if the dog alerts to such pharmaceutical forms of fentanyl, such as a cancer patch. The bill passed its respective House committee last year and is now on the “Second Reading Calendar,” awaiting action on the House floor.
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