Missouri lawmakers want drug testing for welfare
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Opponents of drug testing for Missouri's welfare recipients say such measures could hurt low-income children and wouldn’t help addicts kick the habit.
Republican lawmakers have made drug testing one of their priorities this year. But it drew opposition Tuesday during a state Senate committee hearing.
Colleen Coble, an advocate against domestic violence, says many households that get welfare have only one parent. She says taking away that parent’s benefits because of a positive test would mean the family has less money to care for children. She also says it’s unclear who would pay for a parent’s drug treatment.
Lawmakers say it isn’t fair that people receiving benefits could use taxpayer money to buy drugs. They say people who test positive should lose their benefits for as long as three years.