Prescription drug bill passes, special session ends

The Kentucky General Assembly concluded a five-day special session late Friday afternoon by passing the two pieces of legislation that were unfinished business from the 2012 regular 60-day session.

The majority of Friday was spent wrapping up a compromise on a comprehensive bill to help curb prescription drug abuse in the state. HB 1, as amended by the Senate, includes several provisions recommended by the Kentucky Chamber: requiring the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (KASPER) when physicians write new prescriptions for drugs containing hydrocodone; limiting the direct dispensation of drugs containing hydrocodone to no more than a 48-hour supply; and urging Kentucky to join multi-state interstate compacts to exchange drug-related information. Control of KASPER will remain in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services instead of being transferred to the Attorney General’s Office, as outlined in previous versions that passed the House. The measure passed the Senate 26-12, was concurred by the House and now awaits the governor’s signature.

On Friday morning, the Senate passed the funding mechanism to the state’s two-year road plan that was signed into law earlier this week by the governor. An amendment added by the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee that would have restored $55 million dollars in projects was removed after the House did not concur. The Senate passed the bill without the additional projects, sending it to the governor’s desk. 

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