Bill would require drug testing of welfare applicants

Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse. (Photo/provided)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Welfare and drug testing. It’s causing a big debate tonight on social media. Two Ohio lawmakers are introducing a bill that would require adults applying for welfare and unemployment to be drug tested.

If passed, it would require adults, who are applying for cash assistance from the state, to complete a screening. If the screening shows they likely abuse drugs, they’d have to take a test.

If the test comes back positive, then they couldn’t receive benefits. People on both sides of the issue are talking about the bill.

State Representative Tim Schaffer who co-sponsored the bill, says it ensures tax dollars aren’t supporting drug habits, while a representative from the Ohio ACLU says the bill unfairly targets the poor and perpetuates stereotypes.

“Saving the tax payer money is important, but that’s not the only goal here,” Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said. “I think we will save untold millions, by getting these families healed, and getting them back in the economy.”

“Many people, who would test positive, they may be in the position of losing their government benefits, but then also not having sufficient access to getting treatment,” Ohio ACLU Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner said. “That could send them into spiral using more drugs and being deeper into poverty.”

Under the bill, if adults with children test positive for drugs, the parents can elect a third party to accept payment on behalf of the children. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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