LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KATV) - A bill would make drug testing people who apply for welfare a permanent part of state policy got key support this week from the Arkansas Senate, according to a report from Little Rock television station KATV.
Senate Bill 123, sponsored by Senator Blake Johnson, R-Corning, was approved by a 26-7 margin on Monday. KATV reported that a 2015 bill made drug testing welfare applicants a requirement if the applicant checked a box on a form saying they were on illegal drugs or if they lost their job due to illegal drugs.
State employment officials said that drug testing in the welfare system has helped save taxpayer money while opponents have argued that the requirement showed a negative belief that poor families are on drugs.
The bill now heads to the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee on Thursday.
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