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VOL. 36 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 6, 2012




Bill to test welfare applicants advancing in House

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to drug test people as a condition to receive welfare is advancing in the House despite a state attorney general opinion saying the legislation is constitutionally suspect.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Hurley of Lenoir City was approved 11-6 in the House Health and Human Resources Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Finance Committee.

The legislation would test applicants with drug violations within the last five years. But Attorney General Bob Cooper has twice opined that the bill would violate constitutional rights of applicants unless there is suspicion they are taking illicit drugs.

Sponsors say savings of at least a million dollars would be used to help addicts recover from drug dependency.

However, opponents say the measure is politically motivated.

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