The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed both bills on its agenda for this year’s special session. House lawmakers approved both the road plan funding bill and a measure to crack down on prescription pill abuse today by wide margins. The more contentious of the two bills was the prescription pill legislation. The House and Senate reached a compromise at the end of the regular session, but the House chose to introduce the original and tougher form for the special session.
The bill is opposed by the Kentucky Medical Association, which says the restrictions are too tough. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the KMA doesn’t speak for all doctors on this issue.
“We have the vast majority of doctors and nurses and dentists and practitioners across the state who want to see this type of legislation pass because they want to be part of the solution,” Stumbo says.
Stumbo says the chamber made a conscious decision not to introduce the pill bill compromise. He says even though the bill may be changed again, he wants House members to show their support for the tougher bill.
“Now you know what happens in a compromise situation happens. But at least the House and the House members here, the ones who voted for it are the on the record saying we supported this strong version,” he says.
The future of both bills in the Senate is unknown. But leaders in that chamber have said they won’t pass any legislation until Governor Steve Beshear signs the road plan template that was sent to him last week.
So far, the governor has not signed that bill. But Stumbo says he believes Beshear will do so by tomorrow.