State lawmakers are reconsidering legislation that would combat Kentucky’s heroin problem.
Rep. John Tilley, a Democrat from Hopkinsville, chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
He is working with his Senate committee counterpart, Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield, and other lawmakers to revive the failed bill.
“"There’s a very concerned group of us who are meeting and discussing it often, and everything is still on the table,” said Tilley.
A bill filed by outgoing Southgate Republican Sen. Katie Stine died on the House floor following an alleged Republican filibuster during the final moments of the 2014 legislative session.
GOP representatives criticized the bill’s inclusion of a needle exchange program, and members of both parties expressed concern over language that would charge heroin dealers with first degree homicide in the event of an overdose death.
“We are discussing ways to curb the addiction, get it off our streets; to deal more harshly with those whom are dealing in the misery; and to save lives, ultimately,” said Tilley. “ And that’s what we’re -- what we as public servants need to be doing.”
Gov. Steve Beshear remains undecided on whether he’ll call a special legislative session to revisit the issue.
Tilley says the homicide provision is still being considered, and that several bills will likely take shape soon.