Drug testing for welfare benefits proposed in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Some welfare recipients may be required to undergo drug tests to qualify for benefits under a bill introduced in the Legislature. Republican Rep. Brad Wilson of Kaysville says Monday that anyone who fails a drug test could enroll in a treatment program to avoid losing their benefits. Wilson says the law would only apply to people who qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and only after recipients take a written test that can identify addictive behaviors. People who are flagged by that test would then be given a urine test to screen for drug use. American Civil Liberties Union of Utah attorney Marina Lowe says similar laws in Florida and Michigan have been found unconstitutional because a drug test is considered an unreasonable search.

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