Republicans play politics during opioid hearing
Posted October 12, 2017
Our Attorney General Andy Beshear came under attack today for a court case settled before taking office.
Republicans Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah and Rep. Lynn Bechler of Marion co-chaired the committee where Beshear testified on the need to take legal action against pharmaceutical companies who contributed to the opioid problem in Kentucky.
They instead attacked him for over one hour on the settlement made during former Attorney General Jack Conway's time in office.
The following statement was issued by Brad Bowman, communications director for the Kentucky Democratic Party, in regards to the hearing.
"Parents from northern Kentucky who lost their children to opioid addiction traveled to Frankfort today to hear Attorney General Andy Beshear testify on holding pharmaceutical companies accountable. Instead of this being a joint conversation to address the opioid crisis, Senate and House Republicans used it as political theater," Bowman said.
"While the Attorney General asked them to join him in fighting opioid abuse, the Republicans and their candidate running for the AG's office in 2019 shamelessly used the hearing for their political ambitions. At least 85 Kentuckians have died from an overdose while we wait for approval from the Bevin administration for Beshear's pending contract to take legal action against these pharmaceutical companies. Republicans are protecting big pharma while Attorney General Beshear is fighting to protect Kentuckians. How many more will die from an overdose while we wait for the Republicans to take this issue more seriously than their own political agenda?"
A few reminding facts regarding Purdue Pharma settlement in regards to the last budget:
1) Senate and House Republicans approved $8 million in Purdue Pharma settlement funds in the 2016 budget so Attorney General Andy Beshear's Office could fund 15 drug treatment centers.
2) Recovery Kentucky received funding from the Purdue Pharma as one of the 15 centers and it has a mens center in Paducah where Sen. Carroll is from — $9 million is still to come from the settlement for lawmakers to allocate.
3) Recovery Kentucky received $700,000 for its centers statewide from the Purdue settlement, which lawmakers allocated and surely Carroll voted on the 2016-2018 budget to benefit his district with drug treatment.