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WV governor approves welfare drug testing

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A pilot program requiring drug screenings for public assistance applicants will soon start in West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed off on the proposal Wednesday, paving the way for the statewide, three-year testing program.

Once the program is approved by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and initiated, anyone applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will be screened.

That screening requires a series of questions that determine if there is a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use, a determination made by a caseworker.

If so, the applicant will then be tested and, if drug use is found, substance abuse treatment will be required, including counseling and job skills programs. Subsequent failures result in temporary and then permanent bans on assistance for that individual…

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