Welfare Drug Testing Bill Dies In Indiana Legislature, Again

A measure that aimed to require drug testing for welfare recipients

Legislation requiring some welfare recipients to be drug tested died Thursday in the waning hours of the 2014 session.

The legislation would have required welfare recipients to be drug tested one of two ways – either if they show a likelihood of addiction through a written pre-screening test or if they have a pending drug charge or drug conviction in the last year.

Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, the bill’s author, says that after a failed drug test, recipients wouldn’t lose their benefits if they seek treatment and submit two consecutive clean tests within a four month period.

But Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, says the bill is unnecessary.

“It’s discriminatory; it attacks a specific group of people. It’s just mean,” she says.

While the measure overwhelmingly passed the House, it failed to garner enough votes to pass the Senate.

Still, McMillin says he’ll keep working on the issue.

“I don’t think I’ll be deterred in trying to continuing to advance good government measures because one of the branches of the Statehouse hasn’t got it figured it out yet,” he says.

The measure has failed to pass the legislature in three consecutive sessions.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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