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Committee Passes Prescription Drug Bill

Tom Varco, Wikimedia Commons

A Kentucky Senate committee has approved a bill that aims to toughen laws against prescription pill abuse.

House Bill 4 is a collaborative effort between House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Attorney General Jack Conway and Governor Steve Beshear.

The bill puts the KASPER prescription tracking system under Conway's command and requires clinics that distribute pain medications to be owned by medical professionals. The Senate Judiciary committee made minor changes to the bill before passing it out of committee. And the bill will likely be changed further before passing the full Senate.

"You know I think this process is a long way, if it passes out of committee, but I think it's a long way from ending still," says Judiciary Chairman Tom Jensen.

Stumbo agrees the proposal is bound for a conference committee. He says a final bill could see a vote in the last days of the legislative session.

The General Assembly is expected to adjourn Friday for a veto period and return April 12 to override any vetoes.

If the bill passes late in the session, lawmakers won't be able to override a veto, should the governor reject the measure.

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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