Bill to Drug Test Tennessee Welfare Recipients Advances

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to drug test people as a condition for receiving welfare is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Hurley of Lenoir City was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Subcommittee on Monday. The companion bill is awaiting a Senate floor vote.

The proposal differs from original legislation that the state's attorney
general opined was constitutionally suspect. That measure would have drug tested applicants who had been convicted of using drugs within five years.

The opinion said that approach would violate the constitutional rights of applicants who have a right not to be drug tested unless there is suspicion that they are taking illicit drugs.

Under the amended version, new applicants would undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant would be drug tested.


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