Bill would add potential drug test for welfare

Published On: Feb 13 2013 11:07:06 AM PST
OLYMPIA, Wash. -

A measure modeled on a new law in Utah would add a potential drug testing requirement to those seeking family welfare benefits in Washington state, but would allow them to continue receiving benefits while seeking treatment as long as they stay drug-free.

The bill will have its first public hearing before a Senate committee on Thursday. It would require applicants whom case workers have determined have a drug problem to undergo a drug test and participate in a treatment program in order to receive the benefits.

Washington is among nearly two dozen states that have introduced bills this year to require some form of drug testing for public assistance recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  NCSL says a total of seven states currently have such laws on the books.