Drug Test Becomes Step in Welfare Process

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Three dozen states are considering a law that requires citizens to pass a drug test to receive government benefits, according to a New York Times report.

The law has already passed in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, and Missouri. Kentucky State representative, Lonnie Napier, believes that it is important to ensure that government benefits are being used properly.

"The children in lots of cases are not receiving the benefits of the public assistance. And this is wrong," Napier told NPR.

Criticisms suggest that the requirement challenges Fourth Amendment rights and stereotypes the low-income and unemployed demographic. Others, like State Senate leader Arthenia L. Joyner, believe it is the wrong time, according to the New York Times report.

"There are millions of people seeking aid from the state for the first time because they have lost their jobs and they still have children to feed and bills to pay," Joyner said. "These people now are having to suffer the indignity of having to undergo a drug test."

An earlier pilot project in Florida with similar requirements cost the state almost $3 million, according to Mike Bender, state capitol reporter for Tallahassee bureau of the St. Petersburg Times, in an NPR report.

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This page contains a single entry by hende331 published on October 12, 2011 5:31 PM.

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