Local News Politics

The primary sponsor of legislation attempting to make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only is taking a smaller role. State Senator Tom Jensen announced today that he will no longer be the main sponsor of Senate Bill 50.

Jensen said opponents of the legislation were quickly attaching him personally to the controversial bill, something he wanted to avoid. That’s because those opponents were using Jensen’s career as a lawyer against him when arguing against the bill. Some of the attacks focused on Jensen’s past helping with paperwork to form Operation UNITE, a federal drug enforcement group located in Eastern Kentucky.

“But one term that we use as a lawyer is you don’t want to have any appearance of impropriety,” Jensen said. “And to take that issue off, because the issue is not about Tom Jensen on the pseudoephedrine bill. To take that off Madam President I wish to move to withdraw as primary sponsor of Senate Bill 50.”

Opponents of Senate Bill 50 say they don’t want to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get medicines for common illnesses.

Jensen said he will continue to advocate for the bill, which he says is necessary to rid the commonwealth of its meth epidemic. Other state Senators, including Robert Stivers, the new sponsor of the bill, rose to defend Jensen.

“But today the Senator from Laurel, because I heard the same rumors, has been impugned. His integrity has been impugned, by the media,” Stivers said.

Many Senators said the attacks were uncalled for. But Jensen stopped short of saying the attacks were part of a lobbying effort to defeat the bill.