In Texas, Senate Bill 11 would require applicants to TANF assistance to be screened for drug use if they appear to be using drugs or if their records include previous drug convictions.
In Kansas, on the other hand, anyone convicted of a drug felony after July would be ineligible to receive welfare for five years, and a second drug conviction would represent a lifelong ban. In a surprise move, the bill recently approved by the Kansas House of Representatives would also require drug testing for members of the state legislature.
The ACLU oppose the move, saying that it’s based on:
The erroneous assumption that welfare recipients purchase and consume drugs at a higher percentage than the general population.
The Kansas bill, Senate Bill 149, says that reasonable suspicion may be based on any number of factors, “including, but not limited to, an applicant’s or recipient’s demeanor, missed appointments and arrest or other police records, previous employment or application for employment in an occupation or industry that regularly conducts drug screening, termination from previous employment due to use of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog or prior drug screening records of the applicant or recipient indicating use of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog.”
The bill would require anyone who fails a drug test to get drug treatment and jobs skills training at government expense. Those who fail a second time would be ineligible for a year. The bill also would prevent anyone who is convicted of a drug felony after July from getting welfare for five years. A second conviction would mean a lifelong ban. House and Senate members also would be tested if there is a reasonable suspicion about their behavior.