A new bill would prompt drug testing for welfare recipients
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A new bill would prompt drug testing for welfare recipients

Date: February 11, 2009
By: Jennifer Meckles
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 86 , SB 73

Intro: In an effort to stop tax dollars from going to drug users, a Southeast Missouri senator sponsored a bill that would require drug testing before you can receive welfare benefits.

Jennifer Meckles has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC

The Senate Progress and Development Committee heard testimony for a bill that would revoke welfare benefits for three years if recipients test positive for drug use.

Those who test positive would also be referred to a drug-treatment facility.

Republican Senator Jason Crowell argued the bill will be more respectful to tax payers' money.

 

Actuality:  CROWELL1.WAV
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Description: I don't think anyone, liberal or conservative, believes that they should be spending their hard-earned tax dollars on someone that is basically killing themselves each day, whether they do meth or do any other type of deal.

Only one group testified against the bill, saying children are at risk of being moved to foster care if their parents are forced to go to rehab.  

The committee will vote whether to send the bill to the senate floor sometime next week.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Jennifer Meckles.


Intro: One Southeast Missouri Senator is sponsoring a bill encouraging welfare recipients to stay drug-free.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Jennifer Meckles.

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OutCue: SOC

The Senate Progress and Development Committee discussed a bill on Wednesday that would require welfare recipients to be tested for illegal drug use.

If recipients test positive, they would lose benefits for 3 years.

Cape Girardeau Republican Senator Jason Crowell sponsored the bill, and said recipients should know welfare is a two-way street.

Actuality:  CROWELL4.WAV
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Description: I believe social programs, particularly these that we're dealing with in my legislation, is a partnership. And I don't have any problem putting an expectation that you're going to clean yourself up before I help you with my tax dollars.


Those against the bill said they are concerned for the future of the children who's parents lose their welfare benefits.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jennifer Meckles.


Intro: A new bill requiring drug tests for welfare recipients would revoke benefits to those who test positive.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jennifer Meckles.

RunTime:0:47
OutCue: SOC

The Senate Progress and Development Committee heard the bill that says recipients who test positive for drug use would also be referred to a drug-treatment program.

Collen Coble (Coh-leen Coh-bull) of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says this bill will only discourage people from seeking assistance.

 

Actuality:  COBLE1.WAV
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Description: There's a very different scenario that occurs on the street, which is the information will go out -- "don't go for public assistance. They're going to drug test you and you're going to lose your kids" -- and what we've done there, is that now we have no resources for those children.

Coble says her main concern lies with children who's parents fail the drug tests.

Republican Senator Jason Crowell said the bill will encourage welfare beneficiaries to stay drug-free.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Jennifer Meckles.