heroin http://wkyufm.org en Future of Bill That Would Stiffen Penalities For Heroin Dealing Remains Unclear http://wkyufm.org/post/future-bill-would-stiffen-penalities-heroin-dealing-remains-unclear <p>A bill that would raise penalties for heroin traffickers and expand addiction treatment is on shaky ground in the Kentucky General Assembly.<br /><br />The proposed legislation barely passed a House committee due to concerns over language that would charge drug dealers with homicide in overdose deaths. House State Government Committee chair Brent Yonts says there are “major problems” with the constitutionality of charging dealers for the deaths of people they’re never met.</p><p>“One who sells heroin foresees that it’s bad and will kill, and they’re potentially liable for that death even though they may be three people distant from the one who actually gave it or sold it to the one who died,” said Yonts.</p><p>Yonts says without changes, he doesn’t think the bill will pass. A bill last year was killed over similar concerns.<br /> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:45:21 +0000 Jonathan Meador 45987 at http://wkyufm.org Future of Bill That Would Stiffen Penalities For Heroin Dealing Remains Unclear House Commitee Passes Bill that Toughens Laws Against Heroin Dealers, Increases Treatment Options http://wkyufm.org/post/house-commitee-passes-bill-toughens-laws-against-heroin-dealers-increases-treatment-options <p>A bill that would raise penalties on heroin traffickers and provide new treatment options for opiate addicts narrowly cleared a Kentucky House committee Wednesday.</p><p>The House Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 5 with 12 yes votes, and 8 members abstaining due to concerns over the measure’s constitutionality regarding charging drug traffickers with homicides for overdose deaths and the bill’s emphasis on prosecution.</p><p>Louisville resident Melissa Halfhill testified before the committee that the homicide provision would have allowed authorities to charge the dealer who she says gave her daughter, Katie, a fatal dose of heroin.</p><p>“I talk to the homicide detective about pressing charges. He said the laws are in effect, there’s nothing we can do unless we see him actually sell the heroin to someone. So in essence, there’s was nothing they could do," Halfhill told lawmakers. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:50:52 +0000 Jonathan Meador 45717 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo: Heroin Bill has "Good" Shot of Passing Kentucky House http://wkyufm.org/post/stumbo-heroin-bill-has-good-shot-passing-kentucky-house <p></p><p>The Speaker of the Kentucky House is signaling that a bill designed to fight heroin stands a good chance of passing his chamber this year.</p><p>Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo was quoted by<a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20140117/NEWS0101/301170079/Heroin-bill-has-good-chance-Kentucky-House-speaker-says" target="_blank"> the Courier-Journal</a> as saying the odds of the bill passing the House are “pretty good”, given that lawmakers have shown a bipartisan ability to back legislation battling illegal drugs. A bill sponsored by Senate Republican Katie Stine seeks to increase the punishment of those convicted of selling high-volumes of drugs while increasing access to substance abuse treatment centers for addicts.</p><p>Stine’s bill passed the full Senate on Thursday and is now being considered by the House.</p><p>The northern Kentucky lawmaker says her part of the state has seen its treatment centers and law enforcement agencies swamped by a major surge in heroin abuse.</p><p>The Courier-Journal reports defense attorneys are objecting to a part of the bill that would help prosecutors convict some drug dealers of homicide when the sale of illegal drugs results in overdose deaths. Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:27:00 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 42596 at http://wkyufm.org Stumbo: Heroin Bill has "Good" Shot of Passing Kentucky House Bill Designed to Battle Heroin Easily Clears Kentucky Senate http://wkyufm.org/post/bill-designed-battle-heroin-easily-clears-kentucky-senate <p></p><p>A bill aimed at combating Kentucky’s rising heroin abuse problem is on to the House after gaining unanimous support in the state Senate. Republican Katie Stine’s measure was passed Thursday on a 36-0 vote, and seeks to distinguish between those who are selling the drug, and those who have become addicted.</p><p>“The bill targets two different groups: the trafficker who needs to be run out of Kentucky or locked up, and the addict, who has broken the law, but who has created their own personal prison of addiction that is far worse than any jail the state could design, and who frankly needs treatment,” said the Campbell County lawmaker.</p><p>Stine’s bill creates tougher punishments for dealers, making them serve more of their prison sentences before becoming eligible for parole. The legislation also requires the Kentucky Medicaid program to pay for substance-abuse treatment.</p><p>According to Stine, the increasing heroin problem is having a major impact on courts and emergency rooms in parts of the commonwealth, especially in the northern part of the state. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:16:16 +0000 WKU Public Radio News & Associated Press 42544 at http://wkyufm.org Bill Designed to Battle Heroin Easily Clears Kentucky Senate What To Look For During 2014 Kentucky General Assembly http://wkyufm.org/post/what-look-during-2014-kentucky-general-assembly <p></p><p>As temperatures in Kentucky slowly climb out of the polar abyss, so too will state lawmakers emerge from their districts and trek to Frankfort for the opening day of the 2014 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly.</p><p>The session got underway Tuesday.</p><p>Kentucky legislators will have until the relatively balmy date of April 15 to craft a biennial state budget, which will be a difficult task: Amid one of the toughest economic outlooks in recent memory, legislators will be forced to grapple with funding priority issues like reinvesting in K-12 education and funding nearly $900 in teachers' pension liabilities.</p><p>Many people, from political observers to politicians themselves, have estimated that in order to fully fund these and other priorities, an additional $400 million to $1 billion (or more) in revenue must be raised to plug the gap in spending.</p><p>But the state expects only $250 million in additional revenue.</p><p>Although the budget will be the front and center issue, here's a glimpse at some other legislative priorities: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 19:59:59 +0000 Jonathan Meador 42125 at http://wkyufm.org What To Look For During 2014 Kentucky General Assembly