NewsRoom
5:41 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Moves forward In State House

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.

But as The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher tells us, 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 says 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,”  she says.

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.

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