Indiana House Passes Welfare, Solon Drug Test Bill

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.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), was on the verge of passage last week when Democratic legislators managed to pass an amendment to require drug and alcohol tests for legislators, causing McMillin to pull the bill last Friday. He brought it back Monday, but with an amendment to strip out the drug testing language for legislators and replace it with different testing language.

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.

Indianapolis, IN
United States
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Drew B's picture

This is all just craziness

This is all just craziness.

Obviously the harms inflicted on the poor for testing positive or false-positive are far greater than the punishment on the powerful.

And although I am no expert, I am aware that the drugs the rich use tend to flush from the body much faster than the  drug which seems to be most favored by the poor, marijuana. So in reality the rich need to be tested every few days.

Finally, I would add that while it may make some reformers happy to see such legislation passed against politicians (I've read many such comments on the net), those reformers are merely pawns of the DrugFree crowd that is destroying the world.

You think people like Calvina Fay, etc… aren't slobbering at the thought of testing everyone alive, politicians too?

This unconstitutional guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude has to stop, as well as the proven wrong idea that people who use drugs only cause problems.

From what I can tell those who have problematic use are obvious and do not need to be tested, and those who consider their use problematic but it's not obvious, will come forward sooner or later, much sooner once we can end this evil shame session that is Prohibition and Drug War.

Please point out the flaws in my logic so I can correct it.

undrgrndgirl's picture

it's not that they want a drugfree anything...

the drug war is about controlling the masses - it has never been about actually being drug free. if it was about being drug free "they" would be against zoloft as much as cannabis. it has never been about protecting us from harmful substances, it is about protecting the pharmaceutical industry's profit margin. "they" wouldn't be trying to control supplements and herbal remedies. same goes for big agra and gmo crops, irradiating and pasturizing the nutrients out of food.

i have often wondered how much of the last decade's financial melt down(s) were fueled by antidepressant use. truncated emotions and an i don't care attitude of the greedy...given that ssris and other mood/behavioral drugs are in the top three drug classes prescribed (behind hormones and allergy drugs)...unfortunately there is probably no way to research this question...

Got to love the fact that

Got to love the fact that they removed the testing for alcohol for the legislators.  Guess they don't want to give up drinking their lunch.  I hope that the judicial branch throws this one out as a violation of the appropriate amendment.

Bunch of idiots in too many of the legislatures around our country.  Going to cost more than it saves them in every state. 

This idea was tried in

This idea was tried in Florida already. And it showed it lost money doing it.


That 4% failed the drug screen. 2% refused-2% did not pass


If one takes the ave. 300$ amonth welfare, add in 60-100$ drug testing monthly... well, do the math. Ultimately the program is nothing more than another 'Social' program bringing $ from the Fed to private buiss.

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

I believe the welfare recipients should be drug tested, however, so should the legislature. And the same across the board. The Committee members getting their parking spaces and laptops taken away for failing a drug test versus the welfare recipient getting their welfare checks taken away for a year is obserb.. The Committe should have the same repercussions. They are in fact suppose to be representing the people, right? The cost is minimal if done correctly. Where does anyone get the $35-$100 a test? We are paying for the welfare...we are paying for the legislature. Come on people! To take the alcohol away from the Committee is also ridiculous. While alcohol is considered a drug, it is in FACT the most abused drug, however, legal. If the Committe is not alcohol tested, neither should the welfare recipients be.

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