A renewed effort to pass legislation to combat Kentucky’s heroin epidemic is gaining traction in the state legislature.
The chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary committees are in talks to revive the bill, championed by outgoing Republican Sen. Katie Stine, whose Northern Kentucky district has been hit especially hard by heroin abuse.
Stine’s bill died in the final moments of the 2014 session over constitutional concerns about its homicide provision, which would have charged dealers for murder in the event of an overdose, and GOP dissension over the bill’s needle exchange program.
“We are discussing ways to curb the addiction, get it off our streets; to deal more harshly with those whom are dealing in the misery; and to save lives, ultimately,” said Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “And that’s what we as public servants need to be doing.”
Tilley says all options -- including the homicide provision -- are still on the table, and that several bills will likely take shape soon.
Gov. Steve Beshear remains undecided on whether he’ll call a special legislative session to revisit the issue.