State Rep. Jeff Farrington testified Tuesday before the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors in favor of his legislation that calls for drug testing of welfare recipients welfare recipients after reasonable suspicion of drug use has been established.
“This bill is the result of listening to the residents in my district and some long-term thinking,” said Farrington, R-Utica, in a press release. “People often have to take drug tests to get jobs, and it makes sense that anyone receiving state dollars should be held accountable in the same way.”
House Bill 5223, introduced by Farrington, puts the Department of Human Services in charge of determining what reasonable suspicion is in the case of drug use for welfare recipients. The cost of each drug test, which will be less than $50, will be deducted from a recipient’s cash assistance benefits if the test is negative. If positive, the recipient will be removed from the cash assistance program for at least six months.
“This program covers only cash assistance,” Farrington said.
Medicaid, food assistance, housing assistance are not affected.