McMillin’s “Drug Testing For Welfare” Bill Weakened In Senate Committee
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A bill that would require some Indiana welfare recipients to be subject to random drug testing didn’t stand up to the test in a Senate committee Wednesday.
State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) authored House Bill 1351, which passed the House on a 71-22 vote January 28.
McMillin was seeking drug testing for TANF recipients for the third straight year, but once again it will not go through the legislature as he intended. A Senate committee voted 6-3 Wednesday to amend the drug testing aspect of the bill. HB 1351 now proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Under the original proposal, a pilot program would have been established requiring any Indiana resident receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to take a written test to determine if they are prone to substance abuse. Those flagged as potential drug risks would be placed into a pool from which 50 percent would be randomly selected for a drug screen.
People who fail the drug screen could have continued to receive their TANF benefits if they enrolled in a treatment program. Those who didn’t seek treatment or failed subsequent drug tests would lose their benefits for a period of three months.
The altered bill limits drug screening only to TANF recipients who have previously been convicted of drug crimes.
Another clause of HB 1351 was left intact. It proposes to limit the types of products recipients can purchase with their SNAP food stamps to healthy choices. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Family Resources would determine which food and beverage items meet certain nutritional standards to qualify.
I'm sorry but if I have to pass a drug to have a job then they should have to pass one so they can sit at home and collect a check that I help pay for. I would honestly say probably over half of the people on welfare right now couldn't pass a drug test. There are tons of people out there that abuse the system and then screw it up for the ones who really need it the most. The State of Indiana needs to do some adjustments to the welfare system and I don't just mean the drug testing.