FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 28, 2015) – Fulfilling one of the requirements of this year’s new law targeting heroin abuse, House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced today that he has appointed four House members to the Senate Bill 192 Implementation Oversight Committee.
State Rep. Denny Butler, who spent his career in law enforcement in Louisville, will serve as the House co-chair of the committee. Joining him are Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, and Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown. Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, will serve as an ex-officio member.
“This new heroin law has been hailed by many as a national model, putting it in good company with several other laws the General Assembly has passed in this field over the last four years,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said. “These legislators had a direct hand in crafting this new law and understand the issue well. I’m confident they will make sure the law is carried out as we in the legislature have envisioned.”
“I’m proud to serve as the committee’s co-chairman, because making sure this law fulfills its potential is crucial,” Rep. Butler said. “All of us serving on this committee feel the same way, and I’m looking forward to serving with them.”
“As we have seen across the state, and in the crisis unfolding in Scott County, Indiana, the costs of heroin addiction are staggering,” Rep. Jenkins added. “Many families, including my own, know the tragedies associated with this epidemic, but I am confident that this law will give us the tools we need to help reverse, if not end, this deadly trend. Many are counting on us.”
“Over the last several years, Kentucky has set itself apart from most states by approving criminal justice measures like this that are making a true difference,” Rep. Tilley said. “They’re improving public safety while maximizing every tax dollar spent.”
SB 192 calls for a mixture of increased access to treatment for addicts and tougher penalties for traffickers. Among its provisions are a local-option needle exchange program, which several communities are moving forward to offer, including Louisville and Lexington; an expanded use of Naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses if administered in time; and much longer prison sentences for those convicted of selling large amounts of heroin.