Senate Committee to Mull Bill on Random Drug Testing
Byline: Tom Howell Jr., THE WASHINGTON TIMES
ANNAPOLIS -- A Senate committee will hear testimony Thursday on a bill that would require random drug testing for state residents receiving food stamps or government cash assistance.
Sen. J.B. Jennings, Baltimore County Republican, is sponsoring the bill, which he says would help reduce cases of food-stamp fraud by detecting drug users who could be using the benefits to buy drugs rather than support their families.
Many states have considered similar legislation in recent years, and Virginia is now considering a bill that would require testing for some welfare recipients.
Mr. Jennings thinks his bill, which will be heard by the Senate Finance Committee, could also help reduce drug use and provide an incentive for people to work toward financial stability.
It's a program that is there to help those in need for the short term, he said. The problem is that people tend to make it a lifestyle.
Under the senator's bill, childless adults who receive cash or food stamps and fail a drug test would forfeit their benefits until they complete a drug-treatment program.
At that point, a social service group or other third party would decide how to allot the benefits.
Parents who test positive would not lose their benefits. …