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Indiana Senate Approves Welfare Drug Testing

Ron Wurzer, Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Indiana Senate approved a measure that would require some welfare recipients to undergo drug testing.

This controversial bill, which received a favorable majority vote of 34-14, would make it mandatory for any welfare recipient with a prior drug conviction to pass a drug test in order to qualify or continue receiving benefits.

In addition to drug testing, a second version of House Bill 1351 would also ban certain items from being purchased with food stamps… sodas and sugary beverages would not longer be permitted.

However, there are some concerns that this piece of legislation is a violation of the Fourth Amendment; that a welfare drug-screening program infringes on privacy laws. A similar program was approved in Florida, but it as quickly suspended after a federal judge deemed it hypocritical to the U.S. Constitution.

Some Hoosier lawmakers are concerned that passing this law will have a negative impact on those people that were busted for a single joint 40 years ago. However, the bills’ supporters argue their intentions are not to do harm, only to help those people that may have problems with addiction.

The House and the Senate must now determine which version of the bill will be put into place. It will then go to Governor Pence for final approval.

What do you think: Should Indiana subject welfare recipients to mandatory drug tests?


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