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WV Senate OKs drug testing welfare recipients

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow drug testing of welfare recipients if “reasonable suspicion” of substance abuse exists.

According to the bill, reasonable suspicion means that a case worker “determines based upon the result of the drug screen that the applicant demonstrates qualities indicative of substance abuse based upon the indicators of the drug screen or the applicant has been convicted of a drug-related offense within the five years immediately prior to application for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and whose conviction becomes known as a result of a drug screen.”

In the bill, a “drug screen” is defined as “any analysis regarding substance abuse” conducted by the Department of Health and Human Resources.

If the caseworker determines there is reasonable suspicion, the TANF applicant is required to complete a drug test, a urine analysis, for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates (codeine and morphine), phencyclidine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene and expanded opiates (oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and oxymorphone).

The bill sets up a sliding scale for offenses…

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