States Would Have to Implement Drug Testing for Welfare Program Under Bill

A bill introduced in the House by Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany would require drug testing for anyone applying for or receiving benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A similar bill, proposed in the Senate by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, died last year.

TANF, formerly known as welfare, provides cash assistance to low-income families with children. The Nation reports, 28 families out of every 1,000 in poverty receive benefits under the TANF program. The article notes that under this type of legislation, if a parent on public assistance has a drug addiction problem, the entire family could lose benefits.

According to the magazine, many states already have proposed some form of drug testing for recipients of TANF or other types of public assistance. The Florida legislature has passed a bill that requires drug testing for TANF recipients and Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign it, the magazine says.

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    Ajax the Great

    June 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    If you want to turn a pothead into an alcoholic, this is probably the best way to do it. If you want you want even more hardcore drug addicts to turn to crime to support their habits, this is again the best way to do it. But if you actually want to help the poor, this is bad policy.

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    June 7, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    What an idea. Turn the people with problems into full time criminals. People are going to do what they have to, to get money and food, whether it’s going to the mailbox, or the corner store with a gun.

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    May 17, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Again, we see a move to marginalize the population group with the least amount of power and resources. Poor women and children. If poor people are going to be penalized for a disease without first offering treatment for that disease then shame on those small minded politicians.

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