FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky House panel has cleared a measure aimed at stemming the tide of heroin abuse in the state.
The bill would provide a three-pronged approach to the problem, combining treatment funding with harsher penalties for trafficking and education for kids.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine of Covington.
Stine says the bill would allow courts to treat high-volume heroin trafficking charges as a homicide.
But J. Guthrie True, president of the Kentucky Association of Defense Lawyers, says that the bill goes too far by placing the burden of proof on the defense and is unconstitutional.
The measure cleared the panel on a 12-0 vote.
The bill now moves to the full Kentucky House for consideration.
The legislation is Senate Bill 5.