Senate backers of pseudoephedrine bill that passed 25-11 say it's a 'step' in the right direction

03/02/2012 12:41 PM

A version of the controversial bill to restrict access to a key ingredient in methamphetamine easily passed the Senate Friday morning after supporters eased up on the monthly cap on cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

Senate Bill 3, approved by a 25-11 vote, would allow Kentuckians to purchase up to 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine a month without a prescription. Consumers needing more of the drug would have to get a prescription from their doctor. It would not effect consumers purchasing gel tabs and the liquid form medicines of pseudoephedrine.

Voting for the bill: Sens. Blevins, Carpenter, Carroll, Gibson, Givens, Harris, Higdon, Hornback, Jensen, Jones, Leeper, McGaha, Neal, Palmer, Parrett, Pendelton, Rhoads, Ridley, Shaughnessey, Smith, Stivers, Turner, Webb, Williams, Wilson.

Voting against the bill: Sens. Bowen, Buford, Clark, Denton, Harper-Angel, Kerr, Schickel, Seum, Katie Stine, Westwood.

“It’s what we can get passed,” said Sen. Robert Stivers the Majority Floor Leader and sponsor of the bill. “It does take a substantial step towards the amount of pseudoephedrine that I believe will be on the streets for illegal purposes.”

Stivers said that Democratic House leaders support the previous version of the bill that would cap the amount Kentuckians could buy over the counter to 3.6 grams per month, but after seeing debate they may decide not to make any changes once the bill lands on the house floor.

Several senators said if it becomes law, they will monitor its effect over the next year and could come back and tighten the restrictions in the 2013 session.

Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican from London, filed SB 172 in late February which at this point reads that pseudoephedrine would be prescription only, so essentially it’s SB 50 under a new number.


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