MS legislature to vote on drug testing for government assistance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MS legislature to vote on drug testing for government assistance program

(WMC-TV) – A controversial proposal requiring drug testing for certain government assistance is headed for a vote in the Mississippi House and some people may be surprised to learn who's supporting this proposal.

The proposal up for a vote in the Mississippi House on Wednesday calls for the testing of applicants in families with children, who are trying to get help from taxpayers.

The program is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. The program is not the same as food stamps.

However, Action News 5 talked with people in Desoto County who are receiving food stamps and most said they support the idea.

Suzette Harwell said, "I have to get my benefits and people that are on drugs shouldn't get benefits as far as I'm concerned."

"It's really hard for us to get on things like TANF and things and sometimes I feel like those people get kind of a hand out," said Alisha McChriston.

"I just think its fair for them to drug test everybody, politicians, everybody. I think it should be across the board," Harwell said.

In a statement to Action News 5, Governor Bryant said this proposal will help identify adults trapped in dependency and allow them to get help so they can provide for their families.

Opponents say the testing would be intrusive and costly. Action News 5 will let you know if this bill advances in the house.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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