“Drug Testing For Welfare” Doesn’t Pass Statehouse
State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville)
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A local lawmaker’s wish to see drug testing for welfare in Indiana will not happen this year.
The Indiana 2013 legislative session ended on Friday. Some bills, including a new $30 billion two year state budget passed, but many others did not.
Failing to gain approval was a proposal to require some recipients of Indiana Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to pass a drug test. The bill was authored by State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville).
House Bill 1483 had earlier passed the Senate, but many senators had one lingering, last minute concern with the bill: how to ensure children continue to have financial support if their parents or guardians lose benefits by failing a drug test.
The bill once included a provision that allowed the TANF benefits to be provided to children through a grandparent or other adult in the event a parent, or both parents, failed a drug test and did not seek treatment. That portion of the bill had been amended out in the House before the Senate declined to bring the altered bill up for a vote Friday.
HB 1483 would have required all recipients of TANF to take a written test that determines if they’re likely to abuse drugs. The respondents would have then been determined to be likely abusers, or not. Half of those identified as potential abusers would have been randomly drug tested.
Those who failed the test would have been required to enter drug treatment in order to continue receiving their TANF benefits. Those who elected to forego treatment would have lost the public assistance until passing a later drug test.