Welfare Drug Testing On TN Legislature Agenda

Tennessee lawmakers are once again proposing legislation that would require drug testing for welfare recipients.

The measure has stalled in the Legislature, mainly because it would cost millions of dollars to implement.

But its House sponsor, Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville, told The Tennessean he hopes a review of the fiscal note will bring the cost down and get the proposal moving again.

Dunn says the measure is needed because “if people are getting taxpayer money, the taxpayers have a right to know who that money is going to.”

Critics believe the drug testing legislation would be tougher on an already struggling population.

Lawmakers did approve a bill that cuts off welfare recipients who have been convicted of drug-related felonies unless they enroll in a treatment program.