Senators reject drug testing of welfare recipients

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Posted: May 30, 2012 4:36 PM
Updated: May 30, 2012 4:36 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Senate, reject, drug, testing, welfare, recipients, louisiana, legislature

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana won't require a random sample of welfare recipients to submit to drug tests, after a Senate committee refused to support the idea.

The proposal by Republican Rep. Sherman Mack, of Livingston, has been criticized as being the equivalent of class warfare. A Senate judiciary committee voted 3-1 Wednesday against the bill.

A revamped version of the bill would have started a pilot program, requiring 500 adults receiving aid through the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program to submit to random drug tests. Mack described the House-backed bill as a way to help people become ready to work.

Opponents say the measure would require welfare recipients to waive their constitutional right to suspicion-less searches.

Though the idea has failed repeatedly, Mack said he will try to revive the bill next year.

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