A bill introduced in the House by Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany would require drug testing for anyone applying for or receiving benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A similar bill, proposed in the Senate by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, died last year.
TANF, formerly known as welfare, provides cash assistance to low-income families with children. The Nation reports, 28 families out of every 1,000 in poverty receive benefits under the TANF program. The article notes that under this type of legislation, if a parent on public assistance has a drug addiction problem, the entire family could lose benefits.
According to the magazine, many states already have proposed some form of drug testing for recipients of TANF or other types of public assistance. The Florida legislature has passed a bill that requires drug testing for TANF recipients and Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign it, the magazine says.