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Bill To Require Drug Testing For Aid Recipients Moves To Senate

Welfare abuse is behind the effort in the Indiana legislature to require recipients to be screened for the likelihood of addiction and limit food stamps to the purchase of only "nutritional foods.”

Under the bill, residents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be required to fill out a questionnaire that screens for substance abuse and possibly take a drug test.

At least nine states have passed legislation requiring drug testing or screening of aid recipients.

Opponents also argue the bill unfairly targets the poor, who they say are no more likely to fall prey to addiction or bad nutrition than anyone else.

Implementing the bill would save about $521,000 over two years but cost at least $1.18 million in the same time, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.

 Those who test positive for drugs would initially continue to receive aid but they would have to enter rehab.

If they fail the tests after four months they get cut off.

The measure now goes to the Senate.