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January 18, 2016 11:27 PM

Welfare Drug Test Bill To Be Introduced In Pierre

Pierre, SD

The legislative session will get back underway in Pierre Tuesday. This week, a new bill is expected to be introduced that has a lot of people talking.

The potential legislation was put together by Representative Lynne DiSanto of Rapid City and Senator Betty Olson of Prairie City. The bill would make it mandatory for people who are applying for welfare and other cash assistance programs to do a mandatory drug test.

Those applying would be required to pay a one-time $25 to $30 payment for the test. DiSanto she says this bill is to create accountability with welfare recipients.

"I would say with just about any employer that you apply for a job with you have to submit to a drug test, and I don't see how this is any different from that. It is not that you're being forced to submit to a drug test. It's elective. You have the option." DiSanto said.

We posted the question about mandating drug tests for welfare participants on our KELOLAND News Facebook page, and so far we've received more than 800 comments.

Mary Osborne Pate writes, "My only concern in the homes where benefits are received. I think there should be a check to make sure kids in denied homes are still getting food, shelter."

On the other side, Phyllis Anderson writes "Yes they should. We would have more money for the ones that really need it."

This type of legislation was brought up before in South Dakota. In 2011 and 2012, South Dakota lawmakers rejected bills requiring drug tests.

  • South Dakota
  • Rapid City, SD
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