April 16, 2014

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Sen. Katie Stine reviews Kentucky congressional week

We are half-way through the 30-day session and many of our priority bills have made their way to the House to await action there.

This week, the Senate passed House Bill 7, a bill authorizing university bonding projects. Universities will use their own bonds at no cost to Kentucky’s General Fund to renovate or build 11 critically-needed buildings. Northern Kentucky University, for example, has laid out a plan for the renovation and expansion of the Albright Health Center and a residence hall. The universities must use their own funds to operate these buildings once they’re built. The Senate also added language that these projects could not be subsidized with tuition increases.

On Thursday, the Senate passed the bill that I sponsored, Senate Bill 6, in response to the overwhelming number of deaths resulting from heroin overdoses in Kentucky. The bill amends current law to state clearly that an overdose death from a Schedule I drug is a foreseeable event.  Schedule I drugs are by definition highly addictive and have no legitimate medical use. SB 6 applies criminal homicide liability to any individual in the chain of possession of those drugs related to the overdose death of the user. It also states that the illegal trafficking of these types of drugs is, by itself, sufficient to support a charge of criminal homicide in an overdose death. This allows authorities to bring these charges against anyone who supplied the lethal does, regardless of their position in the supply chain.