Statehouse Update: Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients?

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Indiana House lawmakers this week approved legislation in committee aimed at encouraging parental involvement in education while a Senate panel advanced a bill requiring some welfare recipients to be drug tested. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports on the week at the Statehouse:


One of the more controversial bills this session is a measure that requires all recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars to take a written test showing if they’re likely to abuse drugs. Half of those who show a propensity to use drugs must take a drug test. Those who fail the drug test must either enter a drug treatment program or lose their welfare benefits. The bill, passed by a Senate committee, now goes to Senate Appropriations. The House Education Committee approved a bill creating the family friendly schools designation. The measure would allow the Department of Education to award the label to schools that effectively involve parents and families in their students’ education. The bill’s author hopes the designation will encourage more schools to develop parental involvement programs. And a Senate committee heard hours of testimony about legislation creating a preschool pilot program. The program would give money to families to send their children to high-quality preschools. It’s initially limited to a total of seven million dollars and only five counties. But committee members expressed concerns about the eventual cost of expanding the program statewide. The bill is up for a vote in the committee next week. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.


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