Rep. Rich pushes bill requiring drug tests for TANIF recipients - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Rep. Rich pushes bill requiring drug tests for TANIF recipients

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The bill affects cash assistance through Temporary Aid for Needy Families, or TANIF. (Source: MGN Online) The bill affects cash assistance through Temporary Aid for Needy Families, or TANIF. (Source: MGN Online)
DEKALB COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A House Representative from North Alabama wants to toughen up restrictions for people on state public assistance.

Republican Kerry Rich feels these people should have to pass a drug test to receive benefits. Rich represents DeKalb and Marshall Counties.

Rich has attempted such legislation twice before; one time it only passed the Senate, the other only the House. He hopes both branches get together and make the third time the charm.

The bill would only apply for state assistance, not federal subsidies. In particular, it affects cash assistance through Temporary Aid for Needy Families, or TANIF.

Rich said if a recipient passes the drug test, the state would reimburse the costs. If they fail, not only would the test not be reimbursed, but benefits would be cut off for one year. Either way, Rich said, the children will not be allowed to suffer if a parent fails their drug test.

"The children would not be denied their benefit but there would be another person designated by DHR to handle benefits for the children," he said.

The bill awaits committee approval in the State House.

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