Governor Bevin begins issuing vetoes

04/04/2018 11:04 AM

FRANKFORT – Gov. Bevin has already put his veto pen to use, rejecting two measures passed by the General Assembly.

Senate Bill 7 , which would have established the Kentucky Rare Disease Advisory Council was vetoed by the Republican governor.

The council would have researched and determined the most appropriate methods to collect information on rare diseases, research and identify priorities relating to the quality and cost-effective access to treatment, and identify methods from other states and national levels to improve rare disease care in Kentucky. The measure passed unanimously in both chambers but Gov. Bevin vetoed the bill saying it created unnecessary bureaucracy.

His veto message read: “While the intent behind Senate Bill 7 is laudable, it is an unnecessary expansion of bureaucracy. State employees ultimately do most of the work by such “volunteer” advisory councils, for which Senate Bill 7 does not provide funding. The Kentucky Department for Public Health does not currently have the expertise to support activities in the specialized field of rare diseases. Under these circumstances, the objectives of the Kentucky Rare Disease Advisory Council would be difficult to fulfill.”

Since the measure passed unanimously—it’s likely this veto could be overridden during the final day of session scheduled for April 14.

House Bill 148 , which allow providers of hospice care or end of life services to dispose of controlled substances of a deceased patient was also vetoed. This bill also passed unanimously through both chambers.

Gov. Bevin says he vetoed the proposal due to lack of legality.

His veto message read: “House Bill 148 is a well-meaning proposal intended to decrease the diversion of controlled substances by authorizing Hospice personnel to take possession of unused controlled substances. However, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), transferring unused controlled substances to home health or hospice programs would be illegal under 21 USC 822(G)(4) for the following reasons:

1. The DEA does not register hospice providers. Therefore they don not have a DEA number in order to have controlled substances.
2. The DEA does not allow, even if registered, for home health or hospice providers to take controlled substances back from end-users.

Furthermore, House Bill 148 named the Department for Public Health as a reporting agency. The department has no statutory or regulatory authority over hospice, home health or controlled substances.

I commend the intent of this legislation and am personally committed to advancing every effective means that can be employed to reduce the scourge of drug abuse in the Commonwealth, but for the aforementioned reasons, I must veto House Bill 148.”

As with Senate Bill 7, this bill could also be taken up during the final day due to the vast bipartisan support.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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