@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Senate OKs drug testing for benefits applicants

Posted July 10, 2013

— The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would require people applying for public assistance to pass a drug test and would require local Department of Social Service offices to conduct criminal background checks on applicants.

Senators voted 43-6 in favor of House Bill 392, which now heads back to the House for a final vote on changes to the measure.

Under current law, DSS offices may ask someone if they're a fugitive or conduct a criminal background check, but they are not allowed to share that information with local sheriffs or other law enforcement agencies.

The House version of the bill called for social service workers to call law enforcement if someone applying for Food and Nutrition Assistance, what many people call food stamps, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which are cash payments, is found to have an outstanding warrant. The Senate version says the Social Services Commission will draft rules for what information will be shared with law enforcement.

The drug test requirement calls for applicants to pay for the test and bans anyone with a positive test from receiving benefits for a year, unless they can show they have completed a substance abuse treatment program and can pass a subsequent test.

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  • perseusomega9 Jul 12, 2013

    Look at the glee from the rightwingers thinking this will save the state money from all the imagined drug abuse the poors are doing.

  • Come On_Seriously Jul 11, 2013

    how can they afford to pay for drug testing. Makes NO sense... lil157

    They can't afford to. Nor can the State. But, the State will pay for every clean drug test PROVEN in other states to cost more for tests than is saved by refused benefits.

    Kind of like Civitas saying the Moral Monday protesters should stop because the State can't afford to process them, but when the State says they are going to streamline the process and stop fingerprinting and taking mug shots of these folks to save money, Conservitas suddenly decides the State has PLENTY of money to do these things.

  • yankee1 Jul 11, 2013

    how can they afford to pay for drug testing. Makes NO sense...
    lil157

    Gee! I don't know. How do they pay for their cellphones, beer and cigarettes?

  • rowdya Jul 11, 2013

    jrfergerson:'Sorry buddy, drug testing can now be done by analyzing the hair for ones body - THE OLD METHOD OF PEE CUP is so outdated.

    Fair enough. Then, congrats to the Teapublicans in the NCGA for finally creating some new jobs, albeit they're hourly HAIR TESTER jobs.
    jrfergerson
    July 11, 2013 1:33 p.m.
    Report abuse

  • lil157 Jul 11, 2013

    I believe that its a good idea as well, however they will have to allow for people who are disabled and on Pain Management programs. I for see some major problems that will arise. Also people who apply for assistance are applying because of lack of money so.... how can they afford to pay for drug testing. Makes NO sense.

  • baldchip Jul 11, 2013

    That's reasonable. Buying drugs with state moneys is wrong!!

  • jrfergerson Jul 11, 2013

    ROWDYA - YOUR COMMENT:'Congrats to the Teapublicans in the NCGA for finally creating some new jobs, albeit they're hourly Pee Cup Dispenser jobs." Sorry buddy, drug testing can now be done by analyzing the hair for ones body - THE OLD METHOD OF PEE CUP is so outdated.

    rowdya

  • AliceBToklas Jul 11, 2013

    I have a new proposal. We open up drug testing facilities at our borders to be certain no drugged out crazies are driving on our highways. Make them pay up front for the test and wait at the border for the result. Should make it include the entire family as well - see if junior is clean too.

    Geez, what .

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 11, 2013

    Oh I get it, this is a job creation bill. Wonder how much it cost to open up one of the drug testing places? Or is it gonna be contract to someplace out of state?

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 11, 2013

    They going to cut funding for the food stamp any way here very soon. So why burden them with more cost, that will not save any money?

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