A House budget bill would allow tax dollars to be used next year to administer the state's prescription-drug database, after years of debate about the issue.
The proposal, which would be in effect only for the 2015-16 fiscal year, is included in what is known as a budget "implementing" bill (HB 3A). That bill, along with the overall budget, will be considered during a special legislative session that starts Monday.
The database, known as the prescription-drug monitoring program, was set up amid massive problems with "pill mills" and doctor shopping by drug abusers. But lawmakers barred the use of state money for the program, which has cost about $500,000 a year to run.
Instead, they required that it be funded through federal grants or private money. The House bill would, at least for one year, lift that restriction.