The Indiana House Tuesday passed a bill that would create a pilot program for drug testing welfare recipients, but not before finding itself forced to vote for drug testing for its own members. The bill, House Bill 1007, now moves to the Senate.
Under McMillin's amendment, the alcohol testing provision for legislators is gone, but half the legislature would face random drug testing each year. The House speaker and Senate president pro tem could also order drug tests of members. Members who refused a drug test could lose perks, such as their laptops, parking spaces, and franked mail.
The bill would set up a pilot program in three counties, where recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) would have to undergo random, suspicionless drug tests. If they test positive, they would be denied benefits for one year. On Monday, though, the House unanimously approved an amendment by Rep. Gail Riecken (D-Evansville), that would allow people to continue to receive TANF benefits after testing positive if they go into drug treatment and pass subsequent drug tests.