Sen. John Schickel says General Assembly has done 'horrible' when it comes to addressing the heroin crisis

11/28/2016 03:18 PM

FLORENCE – Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, says that the General Assembly has done a “horrible job” when it comes to addressing the heroin crisis and challenged members of the legislature to do more during the upcoming session.

Schickel made the comments on Monday during the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations meeting which was held at Turfway Park. The GOP lawmakers comments came in response to Kentucky Association of Realtors CEO Steve Stevens, who was emphasizing how the heroin crisis can affect home values.

Stevens initially thanked the legislature for the work they’ve done in the past, but acknowledged there was more to do which brought the abrupt response from Schickel.

“Homes are built and sold best, and also easier, if they’re in communities that are both safe and livable,” Stevens said. “One of the greatest threats in achieving that is Kentucky’s substance abuse problem, and in particularly, the heroin crisis that we face. Let me start by saying thank you to this legislature for the work you’ve already done in working hard on that issue and steps that have been taken in previous sessions.”

“I have to say, I think you’re wrong about the legislature doing a good job, we’ve done a horrible job,” Schickel said. “I don’t think people know that in 2011, the legislature reduced the penalty for the trafficking of heroin. Now, we never put it back to where it was. Every time we passed a law to allow heroin use in Kentucky, the problem’s gotten worse.”

Schickel indicated that he plans to file another bill for the 2017 session which cracks down on drug traffickers and imposes harsher sentences.

Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, indicated that if Schickel files the legislation, he would like to be a co-sponsor.


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