Drug screening for public beneficiaries approved

May 20, 2015

MADISON The Legislature's budget committee has approved requiring drug screenings for recipients of public aid programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits.

Gov. Scott Walker had proposed the testing. The Assembly last week passed a pair of bills to do that, and the Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday approved it 11-4 with some revisions.

Under the proposal, applicants for state job training programs such as Wisconsin Works, people on the FoodShare program and most of those seeking unemployment benefits would have to take a questionnaire that may subject them to drug tests later.

Those who fail the drug tests would get taxpayer-funded treatment.

Democratic critics say the state won't get a federal waiver for the testing, it's unconstitutional and expensive. The exact cost of administering the tests is not known.

 


Associated Press