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Hashing Out A Heroin Bill

Rep. John Tilley unveils House heroin bill
Rep. John Tilley unveils House heroin bill

Differences remain between the House and Senate over their respective heroin bills, but committees are working to reach a consensus.

Rep. John Tilley unveils House heroin bill
Credit Josh James / WUKY
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Rep. John Tilley

Thursday, the House Judiciary panel took up the Senate’s version – which lacks a needle exchange program and a tiered system for charging heroin dealers. Committee chairman Rep. John Tilley says the goal right now is keeping the lines of communication open.

"Neither of us have cornered the market on good ideas. We have a slightly different philosophy. We have a couple of issues we're going to have to work through, but there was some good, spirited debate. There was disagreement, but there was more consensus than disagreement," he reports.

Asked if Kentucky could see a repeat of 2014, when negotiations over a House heroin bill ran up against the clock during the final moments of the session, he says the tenor of the debate is different this time around.

"A number of factors doomed the bill last year. It was a much different bill... It really doesn't bear all that much resemblance in some ways. Both bills are far more comprehensive," Tilley says.

Lawmakers have just over a week’s worth of legislative days remaining to hammer out a compromise this session.

Copyright 2015 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as 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.