Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients?

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan lawmakers are planning to consider a bill that would require welfare applicants and recipients to pass drug tests.

Republican-sponsored legislation being considered Wednesday by a House committee would establish a program of suspicion-based substance abuse screening and testing for Family Independence Program applicants and recipients who are at least 18 years old.
A similar bill won approval last year in the House but died in the Senate.

Michigan briefly ran a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients in 1999. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, and a federal appeals court affirmed a lower court's order halting the program. Part of the legal challenge was based on the claim that constitutional rights were violated because testing was done without "individualized suspicion."