Welfare Drug Testing Bill Criticized in House Committee Hearing

West Virginia Metro News - Opponents of a bill that would require drug testing of welfare recipients say it's a measure that targets the poor. Read

"Investing in substance abuse treatment is an efficient use of taxpayer dollars, but expensive and unnecessary policies that are based more on stereotype and punishing the poor rather than on facts and evidence are not," said Sean O'Leary, policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy.

O'Leary spoke out against SB 6 at a public hearing Friday morning before the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would require screening and testing of applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.

He said other states have tried drug testing recipients, but have failed to identify a significant number of drug users.

"How is this policy going to help those who need help if it can't find anyone who needs help?" he asked committee members.

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