The Indiana Senate votes next week on the latest attempt to drug-test welfare recipients.
Currently 11 states require welfare clients to be tested for drugs, but a federal court struck down Florida’s law in December, ruling it violates the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.
Rep. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) narrowed the scope of the bill in the Indiana Senate to apply only to recipients with drug convictions. He says that should fix any potential constitutional violation while targeting the requirement more precisely at what it seeks to accomplish.
“People who are addicted to drugs will take whatever cash they can get to go get their drugs,” Young said. “And when they do that, that harms the children.”
Young says five out of six Indiana prison inmates have substance abuse issues, and testing gives the state a way to find people with drug problems and steer them into rehab.
If the Senate passes the bill, the House must decide whether to accept the changes or seek negotiations.