Senate Leader Mike McGuire is joined by a bipartisan coalition of Senators and stakeholders to announce the Safer California Plan.
Press Release

Senate Leader McGuire, Senate Colleagues Announce New Bipartisan Legislative Package: Working Together for a Safer California

SACRAMENTO – In an effort to address the fentanyl crisis and retail and community-based crime impacting communities throughout the Golden State, Senate President pro Tempore Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) and a bipartisan coalition of Senate members today announced a comprehensive legislative package aimed at making our state a Safer California.


The legislative package – called Working Together for a Safer California – is built upon months of research, input from stakeholders and experts, and feedback from Californians. The plan focuses on both the fentanyl crisis and retail and community-based crime, and includes increasing access to treatment, offering rehabilitative services for those already in the criminal justice system, preventing trafficking of dangerous new substances, and addressing and deterring retail theft and community-based crimes. 


Pro Tem Mike McGuire:

“Alone, these bills are strategic ways to tackle these dual crises of fentanyl and retail theft. But collectively, they are working together for a Safer California. The plan includes a series of targeted policies aimed at stemming the rising tide of retail theft that’s impacting our communities, while also enhancing and protecting the quality of life for Californians and businesses up and down our state. And it includes a slate of legislation built on months of research and extensive outreach with all sides of the fentanyl crisis – a deadly epidemic that we propose to address through evidence-based treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation efforts. I can’t thank this bold group of bipartisan Senators enough for their dedication to move this Plan forward, and look forward to our continued partnership with Speaker Rivas, the Assembly, and Governor Newsom to deliver results for Californians and our communities.”


Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones (R-San Diego):

“When there is a need at hand, as there is with the fentanyl crisis and retail theft in our state, it’s not time for politics as usual – it’s time to come together and find solutions. That’s what the Senate is aiming to do. I’m optimistic about the proposals here today and look forward to continuing to work together for a Safer California.”


Senator Aisha Wahab (D-Hayward), Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety:

“The Safer California Plan is a strategic approach that will make our communities both healthier and safer – and it advances changes that are absolutely critical right now. We know that we must advance targeted consequences for brazen theft and community-based crime. This plan does that by tackling crime before it begins by disrupting the sale of stolen goods in online marketplaces, increasing penalties and thereby deterring crime, providing tools for law enforcement and prosecutors, and eliminating sunset dates for organized retail theft. This package is a powerful approach, and one our communities need.”


Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health:

“Many of these policies are evidence-based, studies show that rehabilitation is more effective at ending cycles of crime and addiction than incarceration. This package of bills focuses on what has been proven to work and has been guided by research and recommendations from experts. What works is offering people resources, education, and getting people access to programs that will help them get better.”


Sheriff Robert G. Luna, Los Angeles County: 

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is proud to work with and support the California State Senate with efforts to address two very important issues affecting our communities. As the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I support your efforts to protect our community members from the proliferation of fentanyl in our communities. Fentanyl related deaths in Los Angeles County are surging at an alarming rate and, we need every tool available to help us combat those selling and trafficking this deadly poison. The Senate’s plan will also give law enforcement additional and precise tools to impact organized retail theft all along the criminal chain, without reversing the essential elements of criminal justice reform that was approved by the majority of Californians. I also encourage any efforts designed to hold repeat offenders accountable as we move forward. I am proud to support this effort that will protect economic opportunity for both large and small businesses.”


Diana Becton, District Attorney, Contra Costa County:

“Californians want a justice system that works for everyone. We want solutions for both the fentanyl crisis and retail crime issue, both of which are taking a toll on our communities and families. And that’s what this legislative package intends to do – it is aimed at getting thoughtful, careful approaches to fentanyl in place, and also enacting measures that would help deter crime and strengthen our ability to prosecute brazen criminals who are harming businesses and eroding community safety.”


Dr. Aimee Moulin, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Sacramento, California: 

“We are seeing unprecedented rises in overdose deaths and a rapidly changing drug supply of unregulated substances that we are struggling to keep up with. We need to tackle this crisis with what’s proven to work. Rapid access to evidence-based treatment is the only way to address the epidemic of substance use and overdose that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on people and our communities. I’m thrilled to see so many of the Senate’s Safer California policies focused on that and know that this will make a difference. It may take time but it’s important to do this right and continue to work together for a Safer California.”


Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University, and Former White House Senior Drug Policy Advisor, Obama Administration:

“This data driven plan reflects the intensive thought and study Senator McGuire and his colleagues have devoted to reducing our state's fentanyl addiction and overdose crisis. I am grateful for the strong leadership of the State Senate for their efforts to save lives. We can’t move fast enough to tackle this crisis and this Plan will deploy resources and make a difference in all corners of the Golden State.”


Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, led to 6,473 deaths in 2022, according to the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. Research on the science of addiction and treatment of substance use disorders has led to research-based approaches that help people stop the cycle of addiction and lead productive lives, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports.


While shoplifting saw a decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial burglary saw a sharp and sudden increase. From 2019 to 2022, commercial burglary increased by 15.7 percent. 


In 2020, commercial burglary became a more commonly reported retail crime than even shoplifting. That, coupled with the increasing reliance on online retail, has created a massive issue for businesses and law enforcement that has been difficult to manage. The bills in the Senate plan are aimed at stemming the rising tide of property-related crime in California. 


The Safer California plan includes bills authored by Senators Angelique Ashby (D-Sacramento), Dave Min (D-Irvine), Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana), Aisha Wahab (D-Hayward), and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). 


A list of bills and more information is available in the attachment below.




Mike McGuire is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. He represents the North Coast of California, which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, including Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Website of Senate Leader McGuire: