Welfare Drug Testing Plan Removed From Ohio Bill

Lawmakers have nixed a plan to test welfare recipients for illegal drugs.(Photo: .)
Lawmakers have nixed a plan to test welfare recipients for illegal drugs.(Photo: .)

A Senate committee has pulled a pilot program that would tie welfare benefits to clean drug tests from a swiftly moving budget bill.

The move came Wednesday after Gov. John Kasich’s  administration intervened. The proposal was broadly criticized as discriminatory to the poor, ineffective in other states, and potentially unconstitutional.

A Senate spokeswoman said the governor’s office pledged to work with the Senate on the issue as a stand-alone bill. Angela Meleca said the process would allow senators and the governor to work out implementation issues.

The proposal called for piloting drug tests for welfare recipients in three counties that volunteer, with those who test positive losing access to their benefits for at least six months.

Meleca said a timetable for acting on the proposal was under consideration.

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