Business and Economics

Senate Approves Welfare Drug Testing Bill

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March 5, 2014 —

INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that would require drug testing for Hoosiers receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and who have been convicted of a crime passed the Senate Tuesday.

House Bill 1351 would not take away TANF benefits right away if recipients tested positive as long as they tested negative two times in a row after that.  Bill sponsor, Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, said it gives a person a chance to get clean from the drug or substance they are abusing.

If a person does test positive again they could lose the benefit for four months, but the benefits would then be reinstated nafter the four months if they were to then test negative.

“It is not them that want to do this. The drugs control their lives,” Young said. “We are only seeking to try to get them help.”

Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said the program would be too expensive and is “destined to have a Constitutional challenge.”

Young argued the bill would help children in households receiving TANF and the intent is intended to harm anyone.

HB 1352 passed the Senate 34-14 and now will head back to the House.


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