JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri House endorsed a bill Wednesday to conduct drug tests of welfare applicants if the state suspects that they are using illegal drugs.
Under the bill, people who fail the drug test would lose their benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for one year.
The bill’s supporters said taxpayers do not want people to use welfare money to buy drugs.
“Clearly, this federal government had no intent of including drug users in these cash benefits,” said sponsoring Rep. Ellen
She also said drug testing helps prepare welfare recipients for jobs since many employers require the tests.
About 43,700 families, totaling about 112,000 people, receive TANF benefits each month in Missouri, according to a fiscal estimate included with the bill.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved