Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) with Hudson Valley Elected Officials at Fentanyl Press Conference on January 8, 2023.
Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) joined colleagues along both sides of the aisle today, Jan. 8, 2023, at a press conference calling for life-saving legislation to combat New York’s fentanyl epidemic. With legislation such as “Chelsea’s Law” (A.8384) and Slater’s “Death by Dealer” (A.7985), local officials would be afforded the same ability as federal-level prosecutors to charge dealers for the death of an individual as a Class A felony.
In 2021, the number of deaths from fentanyl-laced drugs surged to nearly 107,000 nationally and more than 5,800 in New York state. In 2022, the CDC estimates 110,757 people lost their lives in the U.S.; and 399 lives were lost in Suffolk County alone. New York state is still tallying its numbers for 2022.
As these statistics are staggering, Slater worked alongside Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy, Putnam County Assistant District Attorney Breanne Smith and Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville to craft his significant legislation that will crack down on the use and dealership of fentanyl in the Hudson Valley region.
“This epidemic has impacted so many just here in the Hudson Valley region, and it is time we put an end to it. We have spent time working with our DAs, sheriffs and, most importantly, families of victims. All of which have supported this legislation,” said Slater. “Too many people are dying, and their killers are simply getting away with it. It is time we hold them accountable to ensure these horrific statistics come to a stop.”
“As a former police officer for 26 years and the father of an officer currently on the job, I understand that fentanyl poses an enormous threat to our first responders and those protecting us. I was proud to stand with my colleague and friend Assemblyman Slater today to raise awareness about the fentanyl scourge and the killers peddling the poison. Every day that we wait to appropriately punish those guilty of spreading the fentanyl epidemic is another loss of life. I urge Albany to act immediately,” said Sen. Rob Rolison.
"Illicit Fentanyl use is a growing scourge. Selling it and endangering others, sometimes even without their knowledge, is abominable. Penalties must be increased to prevent dealers from engaging in such egregious conduct," said Sen. Bill Weber.
“In 2022 we experienced over 300 overdose deaths per day nationally. We need to be able to come together on this kind of legislation regardless of what party we belong to,” Assemblyman Maher said. “Working together with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle is the only way to get things done. I hope when this is taken to the floor everyone can put party politics aside and vote in favor of these potentially life-saving policies,” said Assemblyman Brian Maher (R,C-Walden).