House Bill Implements Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Charleston Daily Mail - Legislation calling for the drug testing of welfare recipients has drawn ire from interest groups opposed to such laws. Read

The House Health Committee held a public hearing Thursday on House Bill 2021, which would subject recipients of state and federal public assistance to drug tests. Groups such as ACLU of West Virginia and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy spoke against the legislation, saying it violates the Fourth Amendment and money spent on drug testing could be better spent on substance abuse treatment programs.

"There are more problems with House Bill 2021 than constitutional issues," Cassie Burdyshaw with ACLU of West Virginia told the committee. "Drug testing is … a misguided policy based on a false premise that poor people are more likely to be drug users than other members of our society."

All speakers acknowledged the state's substance abuse problem, but said they don't think testing welfare recipients for illegal substances is a way to curb that.

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