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Kansas Joins States Considering Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Kansas has joined the growing number of states considering drug testing for welfare recipients. A group of lawmakers in the state are supporting a proposal that would require one-third of Kansas welfare recipients to undergo random drug screening.

These people would have to pay for the drug screen up front. If they tested negative, the state would refund the expense. A person who tested positive for drugs would have to submit to a drug evaluation, and might be required to attend a treatment or education program, according to The Kansas City Star.

After a second positive drug test, attendance at an education or treatment program would be mandatory. The person would be terminated from the welfare program for one year. Anyone testing positive for a third time would be permanently cut from the program.

A household that included someone banned from the welfare program would receive their aid from a third party designated by the state, the article notes.

Earlier this month, legislators in the Virginia House recommended that a proposal to perform drug screening on certain recipients of public assistance in the state be delayed until next year, to allow more time to study the potential costs of the measure.

Recently, officials in Pennsylvania announced they are introducing a new drug testing program for certain welfare recipients. Pennsylvania’s program will randomly test those with a felony drug conviction within the past five years, and those on probation for such crimes. A program introduced in Florida last year to test all welfare recipients was blocked by a federal judge.

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