Drug Tests Okayed for Welfare Recipients

Governor John Engler is praising a court ruling by federal appeals court that clears the way for Michigan to test welfare recipients for drug use.

In 1999 a U.S. District Judge halted a pilot drug-testing program because recipients, and the American Civil Liberties Union, argued the testing was unconstitutional.

Friday, the three judges on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision saying the testing program was a legitimate way to ensuring public money isn't being used for illegal purposes.

Under the drug testing program, welfare applicants in various communities will have to provide urine samples for drug screening before they can be considered for benefits.

Michigan is the first state to pass such a program and Gov. Engler plans to reinstate the program soon.