Posted on July 19, 2011

Nixon OKs Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients

Kevin Held, KSDK (Jefferson City), July 12, 2011

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation requiring drug screens for some individuals receiving or applying for certain welfare benefits.

The legislation, signed Tuesday, applies to the program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Officials will administer drug tests when they have reasonable cause to believe an applicant or recipient is using illegal drugs.

Those who refuse to be checked or who test positive and don’t complete a substance abuse program will be ineligible for benefits for three years.

Critics say the testing law unfairly targets one group of people. But supporters contend that people who use illegal drugs should not get public assistance.