Tennessee Plans on Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Tennessee is considering the implementation of drug testing on people applying for government assistance. Florida has already required welfare applicants to undergo and pass a drug test, and pay for it themselves too. The law met several challenges, including lawsuits filed by individuals and by ACLU. This, however, did not stop other states from pushing similar laws. Arizona, Indiana and Missouri have passed their own laws on drug testing welfare applicants. In Tennessee, representative Dale Ford has again proposed the bill, which is currently under review by the legal department. He is optimistic that the bill, this time around, will pass. Representative David Hawk supports the bill and sees it as a way to hinder people from abusing government services. He said, “If they get assistance through either state or federal means, they should follow a certain set of guidelines and staying with the letter of the law is part of that.” The proposal allows random drug testing of recipients of any government assistance program, including Welfare, TennCare, Families First, and SNAP benefits.

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