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Miss. governor signs welfare drug-testing bill

3 years 2 months 2 days ago March 24, 2014 Mar 24, 2014 Monday, March 24 2014 March 24, 2014 6:32 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Emily Wagster Pettus

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says a welfare drug-testing law will help people who are "trapped in a dependency lifestyle."

Republican Bryant signed House Bill 49 on Monday. It becomes law July 1.

It says anyone who applies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will have to answer a questionnaire. If the answers show the possibility of substance abuse, the person will have to take a drug test. It the test is positive, the person would have to receive treatment to receive cash assistance.

If the person tests positive for drugs after receiving treatment, the assistance would end.

The state Department of Human Services says 9,563 families received TANF payments last June. The average monthly payment to a family was $140, while the average payment to an individual was $67.

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