Social Security Administration, via ssa.gov

The number of Kentucky families receiving cash assistance has declined dramatically since federal welfare reform was enacted twenty years ago.

J. Tyler Franklin/Louisville Public Media

  Attorney General Jack Conway says he supports drug testing some welfare recipients in Kentucky, echoing the position of his Republican opponent.

Conway, the Democratic nominee for governor, joins Republican nominee Matt Bevin in supporting drug testing of some Kentuckians who receive public assistance as a way to encourage people to get off drugs.

Rob Canning

  Republican candidate for governor Matt Bevin said again this week that some recipients of welfare benefits should be tested for drugs as a condition of receiving public assistance.

A proposal that would dock welfare payments of Tennessee parents whose children fail school is dead.

After a debate on the state Senate floor Thursday, Republican senator and bill sponsor Stacey Campfield decided to pull the bill so it can be studied over the summer.

Both Republicans and Democrats expressed concern about the legislation, which sought to cut Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits by 30 percent if a child fails to advance to the next grade.

A House committee has approved a measure linking a family's welfare benefits to student performance a day after Gov. Bill Haslam expressed serious reservations about the measure. The House Health Committee voted 10-8 Wednesday to advance the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Vance Dennis.

The measure would cut monthly benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program if a child fails to "maintain satisfactory academic progress." Supporters say that those cuts could be avoided if parents attend conferences with teachers, take parenting classes or enroll their children in tutoring programs or summer school.

Welfare Drug Testing Passes Tennessee Senate

Apr 26, 2012

A measure requiring Tennessee welfare recipients to go through drug testing passed the state Senate yesterday. The legislation requires new welfare applicants to undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, the applicant would be drug tested. The proposal differs from an original version that would have required blanket testing, which Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. says is unconstitutional. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the House Finance Committee.

Tennessee Welfare Recipient Drug Test Bill Advances

Apr 24, 2012

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.

Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Barring Welfare for Immigrants

Mar 20, 2012

A proposal to keep illegal immigrants from getting welfare benefits in Kentucky has passed the state Senate.  The legislation sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Wilson cleared the Senate Monday.   The bill requires welfare applicants to present documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal residency in order to be eligible. If they're not able to produce a document such as a birth certificate or driver's license within 30 days, they could sign an affidavit swearing that they are eligible for the benefits.  The measure now goes to the House for consideration.

Lawmakers Consider Immigrant Benefit Bill

Mar 15, 2012

A bill intended to keep illegal immigrants from getting Kentucky welfare benefits is up for a state Senate committee vote today. Republican Senator Mike Wilson is sponsoring the legislation requiring welfare applicants to present proof of U.S. citizenship. Without that proof, applicants would be ineligible for government benefits.

A bill that would allow random drug testing of welfare recipients was the subject of legislative boycotts and hearings today.

House Bill 26 is sponsored by Republican representative Lonnie Napier, who says the bill does not unfairly target anyone and would help rid drug abuse from those who benefit from government programs.

The bill was never expected to come for a vote in committee, leading Napier’s fellow Republicans on the panel to boycott the meeting.