AL welfare recipients may soon be drug tested - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL welfare recipients may soon be drug tested

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MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Drug testing for folks who receive welfare is a popular idea among some lawmakers, and the law is already in place in several states. Now Alabama wants to try it out.

Georgia, Tennessee, Utah, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Missouri all have laws on the books that force some people who get public aid to submit to testing.

A half dozen other states are looking at it this year.

Florida passed a law, but it is being challenged in court.

Alabama hopes not to end up with a court challenge. Lawmakers are watching the Florida case in the federal courts very carefully and are pulling out provisions of the Alabama proposal that are being targeted by lawsuits elsewhere.

A house bill dealing with drug testing of welfare recipients is now out of a committee. Sponsor Kerry Rich said this will not impact people who get Medicaid or food stamps.

In Florida, everyone was to be tested. That was the problem with their law, Rich said.

The Alabama proposal targets people who receive cash payments for temporary aid for needy families.

Rich's bill calls for anyone who has been convicted of a drug offense in the last five years.

He admits the bill does not encompass as much as he would like.

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