Leaders see need for heroin special session -- but not without agreement first

04/22/2014 06:23 PM

Lawmakers from areas most affected by the infestation of heroin want to return to Frankfort once an agreement can be reached on myriad provisions regarding the prosecution of dealers and the creation of a needle exchange.

Democratic Rep. Kevin Sinnette of Ashland said he hopes lawmakers can come together soon to hammer something out because he wants a measure to pass before the next General Assembly begins in January.

Heroin has seeped into Sinnette’s region in northeast Kentucky just as it has permeated metropolitan areas of Northern Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington. Dealers from Detroit have set up a distribution network out of Huntington, W.Va., just across the Ohio River from Ashland.

Sinnette said Tuesday that in his ride-alongs with law enforcement officers, he’s seen the devastation the drug has taken on families, the dangers dirty needles pose and the side-effects of desperation from junkies who will do anything for a fix.

So passing a bill with many of the provisions of Senate Bill 5, which failed in the final hours of the regular session, is a must, he said.

Gov. Steve Beshear can call a special session before January. He said again Tuesday — a week after the regular session ended — that he was still reviewing the last batch of bills lawmakers sent him last week and hadn’t made a decision about the heroin bill.

But he said if he does call lawmakers back to Frankfort, it will be for more than just the heroin bill. Here’s what he told reporters Tuesday after a health care-related press conference:

_(Read more Wednesday about lawmakers’ concerns about the Rupp project and how it relates to ongoing financial issues with the Yum! Center in Louisville on mycn2.com on Wednesday.)



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