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KS Senate Passes Drug Testing for Welfare Bill

Statehouse Flickr photo by Jimmy Emerson
(Flickr Photo by Jimmy Emerson)

A bill has passed the Kansas Senate that requires drug testing for some recipients of welfare and unemployment benefits.  The legislation would require drug tests for some people enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, if they're suspected of drug use. Senator Jeff King, an Independence Republican, says the goal of the bill is to help Kansans who have drug problems. Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley tried to add a provision that would also administer drug tests to business owners who receive economic development funds from the state.

That proposal failed, but the bill was amended to allow testing for lawmakers suspected of using illegal drugs. Under the bill, people who test positive for drugs would lose their state assistance, but their eligibility could be reinstated after completion of drug treatment and job training. The bill would also allow children to continue receiving benefits if their parents test positive for drugs. Senate Vice President Jeff King has been pushing the bill. The Independence Republican is glad the bill advanced, even with the changes.

The bill will now be considered by the Kansas House.

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