Ga. House, Senate Back Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- People seeking welfare benefits in Georgia would face drug tests before getting cash under separate bills backed by House and Senate lawmakers.

The House of Representatives voted 114-59 on Wednesday to require that people seeking welfare payments pass a drug test. The Senate approved similar legislation by a vote of 35-18. If money allows, the law would require that welfare recipients pass a randomly scheduled drug test at least once every two years.

Those who fail a first test could reapply. But additional drug tests could make them ineligible for benefits.

Supporters say such legislation could encourage people to stop using drugs and would protect a taxpayer benefit. Critics condemned the proposal as unnecessary legislation that unfairly criminalizes poor people.

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