Politics & Government

Kentucky's lieutenant governor takes stand on Florida bill

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo has written Florida Gov. Charlie Crist a letter encouraging him to sign a bill that would create an electronic prescription monitoring system for Florida.

Crist now has seven days to sign the bill into law. If it's not signed by June 23, the measure will fail, said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Crist.

Mongiardo, a physician who is running for U.S. Senate, and other officials in both states say Florida needs a monitoring system to help reduce the number of Kentuckians going to Florida to get prescriptions for drugs that they are abusing or selling on the street.

Some Florida lawmakers who are against the bill have encouraged Crist not to sign the bill after a recent incident in which a hacker disabled Virginia's prescription monitoring system. Mongiardo, in his May 29 letter, urged Crist to disregard those arguments.

“In light of the recent computer hacking incident involving Virginia’s prescription-monitoring system, it is my sincere hope that you are not discouraged from signing these critical bills,” Mongiardo wrote.

The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) system “has been in existence for over 10 years and has never lost any data related to security problems,” he told Crist. “KASPER has a number of controls to help monitor any potential security problems, and the data is secured with the most sophisticated encryption available in the commercial market. “