Letters to the Editor

Fentanyl, minimum wage, CSU raises, etc.

Dr. Olivia Kasirye, county public health officer, is concerned about the recent spike in drug overdoses.
Dr. Olivia Kasirye, county public health officer, is concerned about the recent spike in drug overdoses. jvillegas@sacbee.com

We must confront fentanyl scourge

Re “Potent drug tied to fatal overdoses” (Page 1A, March 29): Fentanyl has been making headlines nationwide and has contributed to other overdose crises, and potentially contributed to six deaths in Sacramento County. Fentanyl abuse has become a major problem in Orange County, portions of which we represent, where four people died of overdoses last year, including a 19-year-old.

Unlike other drugs, fentanyl is extremely dangerous to anyone who may come into contact with it, including first responders who may not be immediately aware of its presence.

That is why we introduced Senate Bill 1323 last month that would add fentanyl to the list of drugs such as heroin and cocaine that are subject to criminal penalty enhancements by weight. Our bill specifically targets traffickers, not users, so we are hopeful it will earn strong bipartisan support in the Legislature.

While our bill will not end illicit fentanyl use, it would assist law enforcement agencies in their effort to protect the public.

Sen. Patricia Bates,

R-Laguna Niguel

Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas

Minimum wage hike hurts business

Re “State minimum wage plan ‘responsible,’ Brown says” (Page 1A, March 29): When asked on Monday about the impact the $15 per hour minimum wage will have on small businesses in California, Gov. Jerry Brown said business owners will have to adjust.

They’ll adjust all right. They’ll adjust by raising the price of a Happy Meal or frozen yogurt two bucks. They’ll adjust by having one employee do the work of two people. They’ll adjust by laying off employees.

And then they will make one final adjustment by moving their business to Nevada or Texas, or shutting their doors for good.

Brown, Sen. Mark Leno, D- San Francisco, and the rest of the crowd grinning on stage should take a break from all the back-slapping and think about the harm they’ve done to the people they piously assure us they are trying to help.

Chris Piombo, Lodi

Faculty strike will hurt CSU students

Re “Fact finder says CSU faculty due 5 percent raise” (Capitol & California, March 29): Sacramento State students spend thousands of dollars each year to get an education. We will miss valuable teaching time if the faculty strikes because of their stagnant salaries.

If the CSU board cared about our education, this problem would have been taken care of long ago. Don’t endanger our education by refusing to pay faculty what they deserve.

Gregory Allen, Union City

Put brakes on pension spending

Re “State looks at managing worker retirement funds” (Page 1A, March 28): It’s nice to see our elected officials making an effort to address golden years’ poverty. However, didn’t I read that senior poverty in the state is largely due to the cost of housing? Haven’t I also read that the retirement accounts of hundreds of thousands of state workers are drastically underwater?

So now the government wants $134 million in startup costs for a new bureaucracy to manage retirement accounts for 7.5 million eligible Californians. Are these policymakers nuts?

Back to the drawing board. Not every problem is solved by creating another government bureaucracy. Learn how to manage the money you already take from taxpaying citizens of California before asking for more.

Bruce Wirt, Fair Oaks

Here’s how to fix those VWs

Re “VW misses deadline for plan to fix tainted cars” (Business, March 25): Volkswagen ought to offer owners three options:

▪ It buys the cars back at the current value of a gasoline model. Any claim against VW is dropped, including a class-action claim.

▪ VW brings the car into compliance with the law though performance is reduced. It pays a flat fee for fraud. All claims against the company must be dropped.

▪ The owner accepts the installation of a new diesel-electric power train. Any claim against VW must be dropped.

Tom McGuire, Sacramento

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