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
Brandom, R-Sikeston.

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

Comments (2)
  1. Diana Gamble says:

    People be informed of the changing as it realtes to Walfare. If you need help…please seek it help…it is available.

  2. starangel says:

    This is a ray of hope for the children who are trying to survive on a daily basis with drug addicted parents. These monies should go for it’s intended purpose such as buying food, clothing and toys for these kids and not meth or other disgusting drugs habits.

    These parents should at least be clear eyed and clear headed in order to get this money, actually that’s the least they could do when they are getting something for free and not have to do a lick of work for it. This should also be a great incentive for those to get off drugs, if you want free stuff off the backs of hard working citizens then off the drugs you go! No more laying around until noon smoking pot and drinking in the bar every night of the week while your children eat moldy cereal out of a box it’s-time to tend to your children and lead by example with a sober lifestyle!

    This is definitely a step in the right direction and I hope other states follow MO’s lead.

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