The state Senate is considering legislation that would remove criminal penalties for possessing needles with trace amounts of drugs, an effort aimed at paving the way for needle exchange programs.
Senators will debate the bill during Thursday's session. A key committee recommends turning the bill into a study committee, effectively killing the effort for the year, but other amendments could be brought forward.
Thursday's packed calendar also includes several bills around social issues such as abortion. One bill up for debate would require the state's health department to keep statistics on abortions and other repeals the state law that creates a buffer zone around facilities that provide them. Another bill bans therapists from engaging in gay conversion therapy, or the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation, with minors.