Sen. Sinema discusses bills to fend off fentanyl

By Kirsten Dorman
Published: Monday, July 17, 2023 - 5:42pm
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2023 - 7:48pm

Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
Kyrsten Sinema held a roundtable that included representatives from AHCCCS, nonprofits, the Maricopa County health department, and local fire and police departments on July 17, 2023.

At a roundtable on fentanyl and its effect on Arizona communities, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema described legislation she’s pushing to address drugs entering the U.S. over the southern border.

“Most of the drugs that are being interdicted are being interdicted at the ports of entry,” Sinema said. “Which is why it's so important we continue to invest in technology and person power, add those ports of entry to identify and then seize those drugs.”

The roundtable included representatives from AHCCCS, nonprofits, the county health department, and local fire and police departments. Sinema sought feedback from them to better address statewide drug abuse.

“We know that preventing the spread of drugs into our communities is just a part of the solution,” she said. “We also have to increase access to treatment, recruit more qualified health professionals and peer counselors, and we’ve gotta protect against fraudsters who are targeting our most vulnerable communities.”

But when asked, Sinema wouldn’t say whether she will seek a second term to continue addressing the fentanyl crisis beyond 2024.

“I appreciate that you have to ask that question,” Sinema told KJZZ News. “I'm sure your boss told you to do that, but today I'm only here to talk about what we're doing to try and prevent the fentanyl crisis in Arizona.”

Between April and June, Sinema raised $1.4 million less than her potential Democratic challenger, Congressman Ruben Gallego.

Sinema has more cash on hand than Gallego, but it’s the second consecutive quarter in which the congressman has outraised Sinema.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to adjust a paragraph that was placed out of order.