Senator Proposes Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients

Drug Test 001TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas Senate leader is preparing legislation to require drug testing for people who receive cash assistance from the state.

Senate Vice President Jeff King said Friday his proposal would also deny unemployment benefits to people who fail drug tests they take when seeking new jobs.

King, of Independence, said he expects to have a bill drafted within two weeks.

The drug-testing requirement would apply to adults who receive cash benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The proposal would also require prospective employers to tell the state Department of Labor when a job-seeker who’s receiving unemployment benefits fails a drug test.

King’s proposal already has been endorsed by House Speaker Ray Merrick, a conservative Stilwell Republican.

  • wtf

    Finally! Now if the proposal can include regular, mandatory testing on all local and state employees – including law enforcement, contractors of the state, appointed and elected officials… oh, almost forgot attorneys… then this would be sweet!!

    • haha

      Oh you poor baby, scared to lose your assistance? Oh well, get a job.

    • Enough already

      For the record, state, local employees who drive trucks, operate heavy equipment, first responders: ie law enforcement, and anyone in critical safety areas have been subject to random drug testing for years. A lot of people who work in government and the privet sector get tested as a work requirement, so I can see no reason that people getting assistance from the people supporting them shouldn’t be subject to the same

    • wtf… lol

      drug testing is cheap… state should employ it’s use more often.

  • ellis-ite

    @ wtf, what are you afraid of??? Losing your cash????

    My response—–I think it’s a great idea, except they should ADD food stamp recipients as well.

    • Hmm?

      Exactly, I don’t think it should be for only cash assisted people. If you receive ANY services from the state you should be drug tested!! We have to pass a drug test to make them the money they should have to take a drug test to keep our money!!

    • wtf… lol

      Guess you cannot read into my post? It appears we agree that state should test recipients. However, I believe there is necessity in mandatory testing for those employed that have any influence in administering anything tangible. Also, the medical fields…

      • Ryan

        Umm okay…. we in the medical field already do. Going to guess you have an axe to grind because someone gave you a toradol injection instead of the dilaudid you wanted huh?

    • not sure.

      re: ellis-ite

      From what I know people who recieve food stamps are only people who have children. I’m fine with unemployment drug testing, uh state employee drug testing, ect, ect. However I wouldn’t want to see a child go hungry cause mommy or daddy is doing something they probably shouldn’t.
      But if your going to test for THC (marijuana) then test for booze too, cause the later is far worse than the first and should be legalized.

  • About time

    WTH Hmm? If you work you get drug tested, why should those receiving the working peoples tax money be tested. This is what is wrong with America, the working middle class do everything and the dead beats do nothing.

    • Reality Check

      You’re in favor of spending $10 to save $1???? It’s not fiscally responsible!!

      • Ryan

        Actually it is considerably less than that to test. It would be more like $1.97 to save hundreds.

  • ellis-ite

    @ About time

    I think you meant——– why should the NOT be tested, right?

    • ellis-ite


      I meant “Why should THEY not be tested?”

  • Hmm?

    @ about time— I don’t think you are understanding what I am saying!

    • ellis-ite

      I do believe he meant “shouldn’t”, if you had read my previous post.

  • A

    I don’t understand why it took so long to consider this any kind of aid should require a drug test.

  • Lanie

    FYI, if you read this thoroughly…it also includes unemployment benefits. So if you get fired or layed off, you will have to drug test as well as fill out your weekly applications for work. I think this would be fine. I have no problem with requiring drug testing for state assistance. However, I would consider that ALOT of people on state assistance have mental health issues, such as the mentally handicapped, and mentally ill. Are medications they are prescribed going to interfear with this? I mean, I can guarantee that lithium and such drugs that assist with ADHD symptoms will test positive for amphetamines. What then? I work with a lot of mentally ill and handicapped individuals this may affect. I pray they at least allow for a physicians note stating what they are prescribed before denying benefits. Otherwise, we may have a lot of handicapped/mentally ill out on the street and homeless…more than we already do.

    • Hmm?

      Im sure that they would take that into consideration or at least they should. As long as you have a prescription for the medications it shouldn’t affect anything. Its the people that decide to do recreational drugs with their state assistant money.

    • re: Lanie

      Well, write your representative and make sure he knows this. That’s what they’re there for.

  • lol

    I think everyone should be tested if you are receiving assistance. I have seen so many people on assistance that could buy drugs and alcohol but not food or pay their rent or get a job? Really?

  • Nice

    It’s about damn time.

  • http://hayspost american

    Ya and lets their kids right away to, they test possitive for empty stomachs ,no money for them to. hell ya

  • passin_threw

    Let srs take the kids. Will probably be in their best interest anyway

    • Ryan

      As a child, I was in the home of a loving mother who had addiction issues. Briefly, she was out of work, we received food stamps. I’m sure it was not a proud moment for her. She dealt with addiction everyday of her life. Yeah I gotta say it’s pretty messed up to think it’s okay to buy a dime bag versus taking your kid to the doctor. We never went hungry. May not have had the best food, but never hungry.

  • For the record

    For the record Hays Police Officers are not subject to random drug tests but the ECSO is

    • Elliscounty

      Hays PD has been known to get their drink on. No more of that.

  • taxpayer

    So they test positive..then what ?? spend more tax money to take their kids away or put them in rehab.? Enough with the scare tactics and bias against the poor..I’d rather my tax money go for those in need than wasting it on more Brownback stupidity..

    • hmmmm

      No not really. If they test positvie we SAVE money, because we dont give them their assistance any longer, and they will have to find a job, and maybe even pay into taxes, rather than setting at home spending their money on rec. drugs or alcohol. GET A JOB!!! they are out there, sometimes you just can be picky.


  • Reality Check

    It’s amazing how many people are willing to throw money away on this when it’s been proven to be a sinkhole by other states. The number of people on welfare and/or food stamps that actually test positive is close to .02%. The amount spent on drug testing exceeded the amount saved by about 10x. Check the actual stats on it, cause I’m going by memory, but it was a dismal failure in “saving money.” Besides, people making $50,000 a year provide only 30 CENTS a working day to welfare programs out of their pay. Seriously? It’s not that much. I’d gladly double or triple that if it meant a child wouldn’t go hungry.

    • TD

      This is just my opinion and yes I know I’m probably not going to get many good replies but here goes. I’d rather them not get the money cause let’s face it, just how well fed are these kids? Not only that, if it means those children get taken out of a bad household by srs then so be it. I’d rather spend more money on the children and actually give them a chance. The odds of them growing up in the system to be proper citizens may not be good but I’m sure the odds are better than growing up with an addict as a parent. Like I said it’s just my OPPINION. Not saying that’s the only way.

    • hmmmm

      The families that dont test positive, their children should not be going hungry anyway. But the families that do test positive, odds are their children are already going hungry, as the assistance is not going toward food for the children. So your stats and reasoning really dont hold up in my books.


    • CL

      It’s most likely NOT a sinkhole when the cost of the drug tests is forked over by the employers requiring the tests. Great way for the state to require testing but not foot the bill. And we’re talking suspending unemployment benefits here, not food stamps.

  • CL

    Great way to switch the cost of the testing away from the state and onto prospective employers, yet promote suspension of unemployment benefits for drug users.

  • Ryan

    Has anyone seen some of these people on disability? The biggest contributing factor of the otherwise able bodied (meaning not crippled, or mentally ill) is that they are morbidly obese! I went to the store the other day and over half of the people in there were severely overweight. Some continue to work, yes. But the majority I have met tend to state they can’t work because they have diabetes, back pain, fibromyalgia, or cellulitis. Instead of drug testing, we should be checking for cholesterol levels and body mass index.