The Republican-controlled Indiana House voted overwhelmingly Monday to approve a "reasonable suspicion" drug testing bill for welfare recipients. House Bill 1483 advanced to the state Senate on a 78-17 vote.
People who fail the drug test would lose their benefits unless they enrolled in a drug treatment program and produced negative results on future drug tests. Repeated positive drug tests could result in the permanent loss of benefits.
The bill defines "reasonable suspicion" as having been charged with a drug offense, having previously presented positive drug test results, or having been assessed as a likely drug user by the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory test, a commercial test that claims a 90% accuracy rate.
The House approved the bill despite a legislative staff financial analysis that showed the state would spend $2.7 million on the program to possibly the save the state $1.5 million in denied benefits. That means the state would lose $1.2 million next year if the bill were to become law.