NC Senate OKs Drug Testing Requirement For Welfare

Originally posted on CBS Charlotte:

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Applicants for North Carolina’s cash and worker-training welfare program would have to undergo a drug test to qualify for benefits and pay for it upfront under a bill approved Monday night by the Republican-led state Senate following debate on whether such a get-tough strategy goes too far.

Senators agreed in a largely party-line 35-15 vote to pass legislation that would demand testing for applicants and recipients for the state’s Work First program.

Those who pass the screening would be reimbursed in future assistance payments; those who fail could reapply in a year after completing a treatment program at their own expense and passing a test. Both parents in a two-parent household would have to take a test.

The current law already requires local social service agencies to screen for substance abusers using experts or doctors in addiction fields, but no drug testing is required. An applicant…

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