W.Va. Senate OKs bill to drug test some welfare applicants

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 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A proposal to drug test some welfare applicants has cleared the West Virginia Senate.

On Tuesday, senators voted 32-2 for the three-year statewide drug-testing pilot program for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program applicants.

The bill would seek federal approval to test applicants determined to have a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use.

A caseworker would decide if someone demonstrates “qualities indicative of substance abuse.”

A drug-related conviction within five years would also constitute reasonable suspicion.

Failing a first test would require substance abuse treatment, counseling and a job skills program.

A second failure would spur up to a one-year benefits suspension. A third would cause a permanent ban.

Children of parents who test positive would have their benefits funneled through a third party.

The bill next moves to the House.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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