Welfare drug testing bill moves forward in state House


Audio Clip

BY JAKE NEHER
Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan would begin suspicion-based drug testing of welfare recipients under a bill approved Wednesday by a state House panel. The group made a number of changes to the plan.
That wasn't enough to sway Democrats.

Under the most recent version of the bill, people who test positive for the first time could enroll in an addiction treatment program and still receive their benefits during that time. The drug testing would also go through a one-year trial period before being made permanent statewide.
But former social worker and Democratic Representative Marcia Hover-Wright said the bill is still flawed.

"I don't think there's enough understanding on the other side of people with addictions and what's their course." Wright said.

Democrats unsuccessfully tried to add several amendments to the bill. Among other things, they would have exempted medical marijuana patients and seniors from the penalties.
Supporters of the plan say the government should not be paying for people's drug habits.

Copyright 2013, MPRN


   
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