March 10, 2016 4:46 pm -


It has worked terribly elsewhere.

House members voted 91-8 in favor of legislation that would mandate a drug test for any applicant to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who exhibited “reasonable suspicion” of drug use as determined by a caseworker, including drug-related convictions in the past three years. If an applicant fails a drug test, he’ll maintain benefits so long as he enrolls in drug treatment and job training programs. After a second failed test, an applicant could lose benefits for up to a year, and a third failed test would ban him for life. Parents who fail tests will also be investigated by Child Protective Services, although children would not be cut off from benefits if their parents lose them.

Lawmakers said that the program is meant to identify people with substance abuse problems and get them into treatment. “Our state is ate up with drug use,” saidDelegate Josh Nelson (R) during the vote. “We’re ate up with it.”


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.