- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A state Senate panel has endorsed legislation granting immunity to people seeking medical treatment for themselves or others after a drug overdose after hearing emotional testimony from the parents of a Conway man who died after taking a lethal combination of prescription drugs.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Wednesday advanced the proposal preventing the arrest or prosecution of someone for drug-related crimes if the evidence for the charge was from their seeking assistance for a drug overdose. The Senate could take up the measure Thursday.

The proposal by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway is named for Joshua Ashley-Pauley, who died last year after overdosing on a combination of Xanax and Hydrocodone. His parents testified in favor of the legislation.

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