Proposed drug testing legislation for welfare recipients will mostly likely become law in Tennessee. Two identical bills are on the agendaÂ—one bill passed the House Finance Sub-committee on Monday and the second bill should be on the Senate floor today or tomorrow.
What is the legislation all about?
In simple terms, it boils down to this: if you want to receive welfare benefits in Tennessee you will have to do what the State asks of you. One thing they will ask is that welfare recipients be screened before they get any financial benefits. If the screening suggests that the person has done drugs, or potentially could use drugs, the next step is a drug test.
What happens if the person fails the drug test?
The proposed drug testing legislation most likely will get very mixed reviews. One question is who is going to pay for the drug treatment? Your garden variety drug addict can't afford a fancy rehab center. Dr. Phil certainly isn't going to show up on the doorsteps of all the Tennessee drug users and provide free help. How much is this going to cost the citizens of the Volunteer State in the long run? Will weeding out drug addicts from the welfare rolls be a benefit in savings or not?