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Have you heard of Byrne JAG?

Last month, I led a bipartisan group of the Washington Congressional delegation in reaching out to Governor Jay Inslee to learn more about the state's plan to reduce funding for the multi-jurisdiction task forces that help combat fentanyl and other dangerous drugs in our communities.

In this instance, this specific multi-jurisdiction task force's funding stream is called the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) and it is the leading funding mechanism for states, native tribes, and local governments to fight the opioid epidemic.

Because of the importance of these task forces and their unique funding structure, chipping away at Byrne JAG's budget could be counterproductive and dangerous — especially in the current environment.

This February, monthly drug seizures at the United States- Canadian border hit a three-year high. Last year, 559,396 fentanyl pills were seized by the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force, a dramatic uptick from years prior.

I am eager to learn more about the state's plan for Byrne JAG, our local drug task forces, and broadly Washington's plans to keep our communities safe from deadly narcotics. I will stay on top of this critical issue.

More soon,


Posted on September 18, 2023.