Ohio state legislators are reworking a controversial plan to screen welfare applicants for drugs, according to the Associated Press.
This bill is sponsored by Republican representatives Tim Schaffer and Ron Magg. Schaffer originally proposed the idea in 2013 but the new legislations resolves concerns with his previous bill.
Previously, applicants who were denied welfare would have no opportunity to receive drug treatment. The new bill budgets $100,000 for treatment programs.
If this bill passes, here is the process for those applying for cash assistance under the Ohio Works First program:
- Undergo written screenings (those with risk factors for drug abuse would undergo a urine test and if applicable, onto treatment)
- If referred to a course of treatment, in 6 months, applicants could be eligible for re-testing.
With this new bill, benefits would still be available to families of rejected applicants through guardians, churches, etc.
- About 110,000 people (95,000 children and 15,000 adults) were receiving Ohio Works First benefits
- Each recipient receives about $195 per month (a total of $21 million each month)
- 13 states have passed bills to test or screen public assistance recipients for drugs: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.
Source: The Business Insider