By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
Public safety should be government’s top priority. That’s why I’m supporting a new legislative initiative in Sacramento that will enhance public safety by restoring felony penalties for many crimes now plaguing California.
Obviously, serious crimes demand serious consequences. One day last week, Border Patrol agents seized fentanyl, cocaine and heroin valued at $4 million from smugglers on I-8 in San Diego County, and near the Murrieta Border Patrol checkpoint in Riverside County. In 2021 fentanyl was responsible for over 6,000 deaths in California alone. Unbelievably, the Sacramento majority has rejected legislation imposing severe penalties on purveyors of these poisons, including bills I introduced, even when drug trafficking results in death. People are dying, and our leniency is facilitating those deaths.
Proposition 47, which reduced many drug and property crimes to misdemeanor status must be repealed if we ever want to get a handle on fentanyl and other narcotics, on smash and grabs, and street crimes. In addition, sentencing enhancements for criminals using firearms while committing their crimes, including 10-20-life terms for persons who brandish, discharge or inflict great bodily harm during the commission of a violent felony, must be restored.
Other new legislation would require the Office of Emergency Services to host and update a website with resources for domestic violence victims. Another bill requires notification of crime victims when parole hearings for their victimizers are being scheduled to help ensure that dangerous criminals remain behind bars. To view the entire package of proposed legislation, please click here .
Public safety should be nonpartisan — criminals usually don’t care about politics. The upsurge in drug-related deaths, property crime and street violence affects all of us and can be reduced by commonsense measures that keep violent criminals and purveyors of deadly poisons off the streets.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R- Valley Center, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the cities of Poway, Santee, portions of the City of San Diego, and most of rural eastern and northern San Diego County.