Amedore prods Assembly to pass fentanyl bill

State Sen. George Amedore called on the Assembly on Friday to take up a bill his chamber has passed that would outlaw new derivatives of the deadly fentanyl drug, reacting to the announcement a day earlier that authorities had seized 500 fentanyl-laced pills headed to the Buffalo area.

“Fentanyl is stronger and deadlier than heroin, and as it continues to make its way onto our streets, we see more deaths and overdoses,” said Amedore, a Rotterdam Republican who represents part of Ulster County and is co-chairman  of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. “The Senate has repeatedly passed measures to add fentanyl to the controlled substance list and to crack down on the dealers who are using this poison to increase their profits. I hope the Assembly and the Governor will get serious and join us in passing these critically important enforcement measures that will finally properly punish these dealers.”

The Senate unanimously approved the bill, S933A, in May, but it never made it out of committee in the Assembly. The Senate passed 22 bills in all this year that were meant to address the opioid crisis and that the Assembly never took up. Many were proposals the Senate has approved in past years as well.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that investigators from his office had intercepted a package with 500 pills that were made to resemble oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, but instead contained fentanyl, an even more powerful opioid. His office described fentanyl as 50 times stronger than heroin.

“These dealers were playing Russian Roulette with the lives of New Yorkers,” Scheiderman said in a press release.

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