Lawmakers want drug tests for welfare applicants

Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse. (Photo/provided)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio would screen and test welfare applicants for drugs under a bill expected to be introduced.

The proposal from Republican Reps. Tim Schaffer and Ron Maag would create a two-year pilot program in three counties that have yet to be determined.

Adults applying for cash assistance would have to complete a screening. If that shows they likely abuse drugs, they’d need to take a drug test. If they test positive, then they couldn’t receive benefits. A third party could accept the payment on behalf of the children and dependents of those who fail the tests.

The bill is to be introduced Wednesday. Its sponsors say it ensures taxpayer money isn’t supporting drug habits.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes the measure, saying it unfairly targets the poor.

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