March 9, Sincerely,

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3 ! March 9, 2015 Speaker Greg Stumbo Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers Kentucky Capitol Building Frankfurt, KY Dear Leader Stivers and Speaker Stumbo, For three decades the Catholic Conference of Kentucky has advocated for policies that uphold the sanctity of life and enable all people to realize their human dignity and reach their full human potential. It is with this mandate in mind that we write today to endorse the No Charge Good Samaritan amendment under your consideration as a part of the Heroin Bill. As you know, the Kentucky Senate passed SB 5 in January. Then last month, the House acted by passing a similar bill HB 213 which added a critical provision known as the No Charge Good Samaritan amendment. The Catholic Conference of Kentucky strongly believes that this No Charge Good Samaritan provision will preserve life in Kentucky by encouraging bystanders to make a life-saving 911 call when they are in the company of someone who has appeared to have overdosed on drugs. With the third-highest overdose mortality rate in the nation we implore all of our lawmakers to do everything possible reverse this menace. Our view is that the No Charge Good Samaritan amendment allows for grace when people have made terrible decisions, a second chance at sobriety, and an opportunity to live another day, fight the disease of addiction, and become a productive and law-abiding Kentuckian. In conclusion, we believe that the outcome of your deliberations will have dramatic consequences for preserving respect for the dignity of human life. Please support the No Charge Good Samaritan amendment. Sincerely, Most Reverend Most Reverend Reverend Robert Nieberding Most Reverend Jason D. Hall Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. Roger J. Foys, D.D. Diocesan Administrator William F. Medley, D.D. Executive Director Archbishop of Louisville Bishop of Covington Diocese of Lexington Bishop of Owensboro

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5 SENATE BILL 192 The steep increase in heroin addiction and overdose deaths in Kentucky has become a true epidemic. A recent statewide poll showed that 13 percent of Kentuckians knew of someone whose life had been negatively affected by this drug; in Northern Kentucky, the rate is close to one in four. During his State of the Commonwealth speech in January, Gov. Beshear said that, in 2011, five percent of people who died from overdoses had heroin in their systems; in 2013, it was 32 percent. Between 2010 and 2014, meanwhile, the Kentucky State Police crime lab saw its workload in analyzing heroin cases go up by a factor of four. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that there was a four-fold increase in heroin-related overdose deaths nationally from 2000 to In the Midwest, it was an 11-fold increase. On Feb. 13, the House voted 98-0 for HB 213, our original vehicle for combating the heroin epidemic. The bill number is symbolic, as it recognizes the Feb. 13 th birthday of Rep. Joni Jenkins nephew, who died of a heroin overdose. On March 11, after many hours of negotiations with the Senate, the House voted for compromise legislation and used SB 192 as a vehicle. The House s compromise includes HB 213 with some Senate recommendations. If passed as-is, it would: SET ASIDE MORE MONEY FOR TREATMENT: The plan calls for savings from 2011 s HB 463 (our successful criminal justice reform) to provide substance-abuse treatment for non-state inmates in local jails, for addicted patients at community mental health centers, and for pregnant women who are addicted. This money would also be used to hire more social workers to develop individualized alternative sentencing plans for those with issues involving substance abuse or mental illness and to enhance the use of rocket docket prosecutions in controlled substance cases. These enhanced programs would begin in the next budget cycle. To make it possible for Kentucky to better address the epidemic now, the House approved an amendment authorizing $10 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

6 TOUGHEN PUNISHMENT FOR TRAFFICKERS No penalties are decreased for traffickers. Those guilty of trafficking in a kilo or more of heroin would face a Class B felony and would have to serve at least 50 percent of the sentence. This would be a new law. Those trafficking in two grams up to a kilo of heroin would continue to face a Class C felony for a first offense and a Class B felony for a second or greater offense. If the amount trafficked is more than 60 grams, at least half of the sentence would have to be served; this provision would be a new law. It is crucial to note that current law is already tougher here than it is in most states, including Ohio. Also, the charges can be enhanced if the person has a prior felony record or faces a weapons charge. IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY This bill creates a Good Samaritan clause, so addicts will be more likely to report an overdose. Twenty-three states have something similar, and nearly all take the same approach recommended in this bill, which would not charge the person making the report or the overdose victim if done in good faith. Communities would be able to start a needle exchange program. This would help reduce the prevalence of blood-borne illnesses like hepatitis, decrease the prevalence of dirty needles in public places and provide addicts information about treatment. Thirty-five states have needle exchange programs. This bill increases the use and availability of Naloxone, which can reverse heroin overdoses. This bill would allow the drug to be dispensed by a pharmacy through physician-approved protocols, and Naloxone could be used by first responders and school personnel authorized by law to administer medicine. Furthermore, the loved ones of an addict would also have access to this life-saving medication. There is also a provision in the bill to increase use of Vivitrol and drugs like it, which have been shown to be highly effective at treating addicts. This bill would keep pregnant women who are addicted from losing their parental rights if they enroll in a substance abuse treatment program. These women would also be given priority in treatment. This bill allows hospitals to refer people (with their consent) who have overdosed to a local community mental health center, which can provide on-call service in the emergency room.

7 This bill calls upon the Department for Medicaid Services to provide a substance abuse disorder benefit that includes a broad array of treatment options. Starting in 2016, the department will have to provide an annual report on the number of providers in this field, the types of treatment services administered, and a summary of expenses paid for by Medicaid. This bill excludes small residential treatment facilities and outpatient mental health facilities around the state from Certificate of Need requirements, enabling them to expand more easily. This bill calls on the state s Department of Criminal Justice Training to offer law enforcement more training on heroin interdiction, enforcement, and treatment. This bill ensures that trusted Medicaid providers are promptly credentialed to provide treatment for addicted patients.

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