Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that allows drug testing of welfare recipients if the state suspects they're using illegal drugs.
The House sent the bill to Governor Jay Nixon Tuesday.
In a one hundred and thirteen to thirty-four vote, the bill passed through the Missouri House. This measure says welfare recipients would lose their benefits for three years if they fail a urine test that screens for narcotics. You asked us on Facebook what would happen to people who tested positive's children.
Missouri Representative Craig Redmon says, "They're not taking the children from them, they're just not giving them their TANF payment and I believe that was for a period of three years."
TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by state grants. Through the bill, qualified persons would receive benefits if they complete a drug treatment program and do not test positive again.
Missouri Representative Lindell Shumake says, "I as a tax payer also don't want to see my tax money going to pay for drugs. Also, there's a possibility that children in the home are in some kind of danger."
Electronic benefit cards also would require a photo of the recipient and be renewed every three years.
Both Lindell Shumake and Craig Redmon voted for the bill.
If the Governor signs it, it will go into law in August.
Welfare drug testing bill is HB73
Legislature - http://moga.mo.gov