House Bill Wants Mandatory Drug Testing For People On State Assistance

By: Chris Frank & Associated Press Email
By: Chris Frank & Associated Press Email

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Republicans in the Kansas House are pushing for random drug testing for people who receive cash assistance from the state.

A bill mandating such testing has cleared the House Health and Human Services Committee and is headed to the entire chamber for debate.

The measure would affect about 14,000 people receiving help under the Temporary Assistance for Families, General Assistance, Child Care Assistance and Grandparents as Caregivers Assistance programs.

People who fail the tests and don't complete a treatment program would lose their benefits.

Committee Chairwoman Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican, says the state has a duty to make sure tax dollars don't finance drug habits.

But Democrats are skeptical of the proposal, and the committee's endorsement yesterday came on a party-line vote.

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