Kentucky's Attorney General continues to say he's strongly considering a run for governor.
Democrat Jack Conway was in south-central Kentucky Wednesday, addressing students and civic groups about issues including the state's prescription drug abuse problems.
After a speech to the Noon Rotary Club in Bowling Green, Conway told reporters there are other races that deserve the spotlight ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election.
"With the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign underway, they deserve a few quarters under their belt before a governor's race lands on top of them," Conway said. "But I would think that by the spring of next year, whoever's running for governor ought to be starting a fundraising operation to put together the resources necessary."
Grimes is challenging Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's much-talked-about Kentucky Senate race. Conway told his Bowling Green audience that coal will continue to be an important source of energy for the region, and that the state must continue to step up its fight against prescription pill abuse.
A bill addressing problems with last year's prescription pill mill bill has cleared the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is sponsoring the bill, which reduces some tough regulations that followed the pill mill bill. The legislation, House Bill 217, requires hospitals and long term care facilities to still pull KASPER reports, but lessens other regulations on them. The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER) tracks controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within the state.
Stumbo told lawmakers that the bill would help codify easier regulations that were recently published and that the effort to crackdown on prescription pill abuse was effective.
"But you have a reason to be proud if you supported that bill because it's working. It's working from Pikeville to Paducah," he says.
Pressure is building on Kentucky lawmakers to refine "pill mill" legislation.
Since it was enacted last year some physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers have complained its provisions are overly cumbersome. But Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Director Van Ingram says almost two-thirds of abusers don't get medications from doctors. He says they often steal medications from homes.
Still, Ingram believes the state's crackdown on prescription drug abuse through the pill mill law is working. He says it's prompted almost all pain clinics in the Commonwealth to shut down, leaving only eight now applying to meet the new regulatory process.
Kentucky has made inroads in its fight against illegal drug abuse, and the momentum against drug pushers has gained steam thanks to a new law aimed at reversing a trend in which the state became a "prescription drug playground," Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday night.