Georgia Welfare Drug Testing Placed on Hold

The new welfare drug testing law for the state of Georgia, which should have been implemented as of July 1st, has been placed on hold. The law will not be implemented until after an issue involving similar legislation in Florida has been resolved. While Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal still professed support for the welfare drug testing law, its implementation will have to wait until after the resolution of the issue in Florida. Florida’s welfare drug testing law was implemented last July, but a federal judge blocked its implementation in October. The case is expected to be heard by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Georgia law mandates the Department of Human Services to create a drug testing program for welfare applicants, which will need to be paid for initially by the applicants themselves. Only those who pass the test will be reimbursed, while those who fail the test will not only be unable to reimburse the costs associated with testing. They will also be ineligible to receive benefits for one month. Those who test positive for a second time, on the other hand, will face a three-month ban from enjoying benefits, and those who test positive for a third time will face a one-year In order to have their benefits reinstated, an applicant will have to pass another drug test first. Those who fail their drug tests will be provided with a list of drug treatment providers by the Department of Human Services, but the state will not pay for their treatment. Spokesman Brian Robinson gave the following statement to the Associated Press: “The governor feels confident that the law in Florida, and therefore in Georgia, will be upheld… We plan to move forward on this as soon as we can, but we’re willing to wait a little bit longer on the federal courts. There’s just no need in us hopping in.”

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