Indiana legislature considers bill to require drug tests for welfare applicants

In the lower house of the Indiana legislature, House Bill 1483 - Drug testing of recipients of assistance - authored by Representative Jud McMillian (R – Brookville), passed the House Committee on Children, Families and Human Affairs this week.

 
If passed, the bill would require persons who apply for and receive Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) support to submit to random drug tests if there is a suspicion of drug abuse.
 
Every applicant will be given a survey to identify potential drug abuse problem. If so identified, the person would be subject to random drug screening. If someone tests positive for drug use, the person would be required to seek drug treatment as a condition of continued eligibility for assistance.
 
This has been tried in other states. In some instances because of the nature of the test, it has been found to be unconstitutional. The Indiana Catholic Conference said in a statement that the number of people receiving TANF who test positive for drug use has been lower than the general population.
 
In a statement, the Indiana Catholic Conference asked whether it is necessary to screen every applicant for TANF funds, even while "the bill does attempt to help people who need assistance in overcoming destructive behavior..."
 
According to the Indiana Catholic Conference, the bill assumes that these individuals are using illegal drugs or prone to abusing drugs. The conference, which represents the concerns of the Catholic bishops of Indiana to the legislature, opined "The survey creates another barrier and disincentive to seek help when the families are in real need. Often vulnerable persons see obstacles as one more way to keep them from participating in the community and discourage them from utilizing the help."


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

Comments

Louisiana: no justice for vet persecuted by police

Police and prosecutors allegedly orchestrated a series of lies and false statements to implicate a disabled veteran of witness intimidation and battery that would have put him in prison for 80 years.

Jeb Bush calls on CPAC to reach out

Senator Paul supporters walked out of CPAC as Jeb Bush was speaking.

Rand Paul: tax cuts for everybody & balanced budget

Paul said he will soon propose the biggest tax cut in history. He also announced a 5-year plan to balance the federal budget.

Kitschy Eurovision contest goes political

Eurovision comes during the observances of the centenary of the Muslim genocide of 1.5 million Christians in Turkey.

Barack Obama and the history of History

Living in a material world in a post-religion age.

This page took 0.1426seconds to load