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Indiana Becomes First State to Require Drug Testing for State-Funded Job Training

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Indiana is the first state to require drug tests for unemployed people enrolled in job training in a state-funded program, the Associated Press reports. At least 30 states have considered making drug tests mandatory for people on government assistance.

Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner Mark Everson told the AP that the drug testing requirement reflects both the state’s difficult economy and the sentiment of some business owners that they do not want to invest in training people who are using drugs.

Under the new policy, a person who applies for job training must undergo a urine test at a state-approved site for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamine and methamphetamine. People who pass the test are reimbursed the $35 cost. If they fail, they are not reimbursed, and they are not eligible for job training for another 90 days. If they fail a second time, they are ineligible for a year. Failing a drug test will not affect unemployment benefits.

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently suspended an order that requires all state workers to undergo drug testing until a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is resolved. The ACLU says that requiring drug testing for workers, without regard to suspicion of drug use or other related activity, violates their constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

Governor Scott recently signed into law a measure requiring that adults in Florida who are applying for welfare assistance undergo drug screening. The law, which takes effect July 1, requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance.

1 Response to this article

  1. John French / July 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Why stop at the unemployed trying to better themselves, or even State workers (as in Florida)? Let’s do it right, folks — test legislators at all levels of government. And while we are at it, do a correlational study of drug use and political affiliation among legislators. THAT should be fun.

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