Newsbrief: Welfare Bill Amended to Cut Funding to States That Fail to Drug Test Welfare Recipients, But None Currently Do 3/18/05

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A bill that would extend welfare reform legislation supported by President Clinton and enacted by Congress in 1996 has been amended to include language that cuts federal welfare funding to any state that does not require drug tests for those applying for or receiving welfare benefits and are suspected of drug use.

Only one state, Michigan, attempted to enact drug testing of welfare recipients, but that effort was thrown out by a federal appeals court in 2003. That ruling, which also applies to Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, held that any such drug testing programs were an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

The federal welfare reauthorization bill, the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act (HR 240) was amended and approved by the Ways and Means Committee's Human Resources Subcommittee on Tuesday. It could be considered by the full Ways and Means Committee as early as April.

The amendment will not sit well with representatives who stand to see their states lose funding, said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "We expect to see a rebellion by members of Congress from states that would lose federal funding under this law. These states won't just be caught between a rock and a hard place, they'll be crushed under the rock."

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Issue #379 -- 3/18/05

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Editorial: How to Launch a Nationwide Drug Menace | Alaska Measure to Recriminalize Marijuana Headed for Hearings Next Week | The UN Vienna Meeting: Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full? | Marijuana Regulation Efforts Moving Forward in Nevada and Vermont | Marijuana Law Enforcement Costs More than $7 Billion a Year -- and Doesn't Work, Says New Report | Coasters to Stop the Drug War | Events and Conferences Coming Up for Drug Reformers -- Come Out and Be a Part of It | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: US Drug War Hurts Women, Says New Report | Newsbrief: Welfare Bill Amended to Cut Funding to States That Fail to Drug Test Welfare Recipients, But None Currently Do | Newsbrief: Police in Missouri Town Seek to Overturn Marijuana Reform Ordinance | Newsbrief: Heroin Maintenance Study Now Underway in Vancouver | Newsbrief: Vancouver Sun Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: UN Predicts Cocaine Price Increase, Cites Colombia "Success" | Newsbrief: European Drug Think-Tank Calls for Legalizing Afghan Opium Crop -- Afghan Government Reaction Mixed | Newsbrief: Crackdown in Sao Paulo's "Crackland" Stirs Criticism | Media Scan: Tony Papa on Artists Against the Drug War for Alternet, Slate on the WTO and Marijuana Laws, Vancouver Sun on Marijuana Legalization, UK Overdosing on Opiates Article | This Week in History | MAPS Benefit Auction | The Reformer's Calendar


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