Possible Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

By: Nick LaFave
By: Nick LaFave

A pilot project by the state in 1999 aimed to test all recipients of welfare for drugs. The courts eventually deemed that policy a violation of the 4th Amendment.

A revised version of that bill is now on its way to the state House for approval. The new version would target 'suspected drug users' to be tested - not every welfare recipient.

Republican Senator Allen Cropsey says it's a great way to get people off drugs, and protect state tax dollars from being used for drugs.

Democratic Representative Michael Murphy says bringing up this issue now is political posturing by Republicans... and that he has never seen any data which supports welfare recipients being linked to drug use.

Before the courts halted the tests in '99 more than 500 people were tested. Results came back for more than 400. Roughly 10-percent tested positive for drugs.


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