NEW: Bill Mandates Drug Testing for Public Assistance Recipients

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


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A new House bill would mandate drug testing for anyone applying to receive public assistance.

Those who test positive would be ineligible to receive assistance for a year.

“In these difficult economic times we need to offer public assistance to only those who are truly in need. Active drug users should not receive taxpayer assistance and this program would address that,” said state Rep Doreen Costa, R-North Kingstown.

The legislation is similar to a new Florida law approved earlier this year.

“Cash assistance should be offered on a short term basis to offer residents a temporary helping hand when they are facing financial challenges,” Costa said. “This type of screening will prevent drug users from taking advantage of this program that we need to remember is funded by the hard working taxpayers of the State of Rhode Island.”

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