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Michigan to Begin Drug Testing Some Welfare Recipients

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP/Paul Sancya
Lansing, MI

On Friday, the state of Michigan took the step to implement a mandatory drug test for recipients of state aid who authorities suspect are taking illegal drugs.

Michigan’s Republican Governor, Rick Snyder, signed House Bill 4118 and Senate Bill 275, authorizing a one-year pilot program that will be implemented in three counties.

“We want to remove the barriers that are keeping people from getting good jobs, supporting their families and living independently,” Snyder said in a statement. “This pilot program is intended to help ensure recipients get the wrap-around services they need to overcome drug addiction and lead successful lives. We’ll then have opportunity to assess effectiveness and outcomes.”

The law allows authorities to drug test aid recipients who are thought to be taking illegal drugs. A positive result for illegal substances can result in termination of welfare for recipients or rejection for aid for new applicants.

The bills were heavily opposed by state Democrats, but Republicans control both the state House and Senate, resulting in easy passage.

Opponents of the initiative said that similar laws in other states have not been proven to save states money.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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