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Stivers Withdraws Pseudoephedrine Bill

A Senate bill that would have made pseudoephedrine available by prescription only has surprisingly been killed by its sponsor.

State Senator Robert Stivers withdrew Senate Bill 50 Thursday, to the objection of several of his colleagues.

Pseudoephedrine, or PSE, is a key ingredient in both over-the-counter cold medicines and meth. The bill was meant to curtail meth production by restricting pseudoephedrine sales. The measure barely made it out of committee earlier this session. And Stivers says he killed the bill so he could look into proposals that have a better chance at passing the Senate.

“We’re looking at potentially different alternatives to what we may do,” he says. “We plan to look at some alternatives very first thing next week.”

Stivers declined to say what those compromises may be. But Senator Jerry Rhoads has sponsored a bill that would cap the amount of PSE individuals could buy in a year. And it would require convicted meth offenders to have a prescription to buy cold medicines that contain PSE.

“If I can do something, maybe not everything that I want. But if I can do something to impede the progress of manufacturing and distribution of meth, I will at least take one bite of the apple this session,” says Stivers.

Stivers believes lobbying done by citizen and healthcare groups against his original measure hurt its chances of passing.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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