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2012 Tennessee General Assembly
Tue April 24, 2012
Tennessee Welfare Recipient Drug Test Bill Advances
A proposal to drug test people as a condition for receiving welfare is advancing in the Tennessee House. The measure sponsored by Republican Representative Julia Hurley was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Subcommittee Monday. The companion bill is awaiting a Senate floor vote. The proposal differs from original legislation the state attorney general said was constitutionally suspect. That measure would have drug tested applicants who had been convicted of using drugs within five years. The opinion says that approach would violate the constitutional rights of applicants who have a right not to be drug tested unless there is suspicion they are taking illicit drugs. Under the amended version, new applicants would undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant would be drug tested.