Monday, January 21, 2008

Associated Press Botches Drug Bill Debate

UPDATE: Here is a little help on this issue from the Bluegrass Institute.


The Associated Press picked up the bipartisan House effort to encourage drug abusers on welfare to stop using drugs or risk losing their welfare benefits.

The dismissive tone of the article is a little over-the-top, starting with the headline: "Welfare proposal has few fans."

The article fails to mention there are actually two bills (here and here) and only gets around to interviewing one of the sponsors. Napier's version has 27 co-sponsors.

I think what the Associated Press reporter meant was that he and Tom Burch don't like the bill.

Rep. Tom Burch should be the focus of this story for killing a commonsense measure to get people off drugs.

Instead, we get more of the mentality that hasn't worked for decades in fighting poverty or drug abuse:
The measure, House Bill 190, is languishing in the House Health and Welfare Committee. Committee Chairman Tom Burch, D-Louisville, said he doesn't intend to call it up for consideration.

"I don't think it's a good bill, and I don't think the intention behind it is good," Burch said. "Let's get treatment for the person rather than penalize the whole family."

House Republicans should easily be able to peel off enough Democrats for a discharge petition to work on this one. For the record, Napier co-sponsored Henley's bill. Let the Democrat's bill go through and get this done.