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Stage Set For Legislative Fight Over Heroin Bill Provision


Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel says he expects lawmakers will wind up reworking language in 2015’s anti-heroin bill during the next session.

At issue is the provision permitting local communities to set up custom needle exchange programs. McDaniel and other Republicans argue the system adopted by Louisville officials skirts the original intent of the General Assembly.

"What was authorized as an exception to the paraphernalia statute was a true needle exchange, not just a needle distribution point," McDaniel tells cn|2. "And unfortunately what we've seen go on in Louisville is a distribution point. You don't actually have to bring in dirty needles to get clean needles."

McDaniel wants the legislature to tweak the bill to restrict local governments to either one-to-one exchanges or alternatives that limit the program to users who bring in used needles.  But another architect of the bill, Democratic Rep. John Tilley, insists the legislation is working exactly as it should.

"We said [communities] are allowed to operate this program and the law is very simple. And we would leave it up to the locale then based on generally accepted medical protocol to operate it," Tilley argues.

Senate President Robert Stivers has called on the Attorney General to issue an opinion on the bill.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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