Under a bill West Virginia’s Senate has under consideration, welfare recipients would need to pass a drug test for state assistance.

But a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates says they’re not the only ones receiving state money who should have to pass a drug test.

Delegate Shawn Fluharty, a Democrat representing the district including Ohio County, believes if the people on public assistance require drug testing, so should those people passing the laws. Under his plans in newly introduced legislation, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

“I think the public expects us to adhere to the rules that we try to legislate,” Fluharty said in an interview.   “We have 134 people down here and we should be on their dime living within the standards that we implement. There’s no reason we shouldn’t do it. It’s not going to cost the taxpayers any more money because we’re going to pay for it ourselves.”

Fluharty holds a law degree in addition to one in journalism.  He stressed in his interview how this proposed legislation reflects views held close in West Virginia’s culture.

“If you ask the average person on the street, ‘Should we drug test welfare recipients?’, they’ll say, ‘Yes.’, he said.  “If you ask them, ‘Should we drug test state legislators?’, they’ll say, ‘Yes.’ There’s no reason why state legislators should get a pass, simply because we wear suits,” Fluharty continued.

The bill Fluharty introduced would require lawmakers to take a drug test before each voting session.  Those lawmakers failing a drug test would not be able to cast a vote, and wouldn’t receive pay.

WTRF.com will update its progress through the House and Senate.