Bill to drug test for Tenn. welfare advances - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bill to drug test for Tenn. welfare advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to drug test people as a condition for receiving welfare is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Hurley of Lenoir City was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Subcommittee on Monday. The companion bill is awaiting a Senate floor vote.

The proposal differs from original legislation that the state's attorney general opined was constitutionally suspect. That measure would have drug tested applicants who had been convicted of using drugs within five years.

The opinion said that approach would violate the constitutional rights of applicants who have a right not to be drug tested unless there is suspicion that they are taking illicit drugs.

Under the amended version, new applicants would undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant would be drug tested.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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