Sen. Stine to House: Hurry up with heroin bill because lives are at stake

03/03/2014 07:27 AM

A month and a half is more than enough time for the House to move on a sweeping bill aimed at attacking the scourge of heroin, state Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine said Friday.

Stine sent a letter to House leaders a month ago urging them to move quickly on the bill and add an emergency clause onto it so it could take effect upon the governor’s signature.

Senate Bill 5 toughens penalties on heroin dealers, specifically those found to have sold the drug to someone who overdosed. It increases treatment options for addicts, and it makes it easier for first responders and others with a prescription to get the drug Naloxone, which is used to counteract the effects of a heroin overdose.

Stine said she’s starting to get impatient that House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, has not yet called the bill for a hearing in his committee.

Tilley told political reporter Nick Storm on Feb. 22 that he is working on revisions to the bill, including a provision that would allow for needle exchanges as a way to cut down on the spread of Hepatitis C and potentially HIV from sharing of needles among heroin addicts.

Stine said she’s conflicted on that but wants to see the bill move soon.

Tilley said neither politics nor waiting on the Senate to take up House bills are factors in the delay.

And Stine said they better not be.


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