Senate approves drug testing for welfare - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Senate approves drug testing for welfare

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By JIM VERTUNO
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has passed a bill to drug test some welfare applicants and cut off drug users from receiving money.

The bill by Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican, covers adults applying to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides poor people with money for food, clothing, housing and other basic needs.

The bill passed Wednesday temporarily cuts off benefits to drug users, with a permanent ban after three failed drug tests. Money would still go to an applicant's minor children through a third party.

The program spends about $90 million on 100,000 Texans every year. Nelson says taxpayer money should not be used to support a drug habit.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.