Drug bill, liquor-by-mail, criminal justice reform approved

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers have given final passage to a bill to cut out the role of pharmacy benefit managers in handling Medicaid prescription drug claims.

The Senate voted 30-1 Wednesday to send the measure to Gov. Andy Beshear.

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The bill would require the Medicaid program to pay pharmacies directly for prescription drugs, bypassing pharmacy benefit managers.

In other action, the House passed a bill to allow Kentucky consumers to have spirits, wine or beer shipped directly to their homes.

The measure passed 52-33 and now goes to the Senate. The bill would apply to producers only.

The Kentucky Senate passed bills relating to expungement as well as probation compliance credits.  HB327 and HB284 now head to concurrence before they can be sent to the Governor’s desk.

“The Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition commends the General Assembly for passing HB327 and HB284,” said Kate Shanks, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Chamber on behalf of the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition.

Rep. Kevin Bratcher’s HB327 improves our Commonwealth’s expungement statutes by removing barriers to work.  Since 2016, our broad-based coalition has been working with the General Assembly on the expungement issue, and we are pleased to see the Commonwealth continue to make significant progress.  Automatic expungement of acquittals and dismissals is another step in the right direction.

Rep. Derek Lewis’s probation compliance credit bill, HB284, is an additional commonsense solution.  This legislation will finally align incentives for probation to match those of parole. This will encourage treatment of substance use disorders and support work opportunities in order to reduce recidivism.