North Carolina Senate blocks testing themselves when passing welfare drug testing bill

By David Edwards

North Carolina Republican state Sen. Jim Davis (NC Legislature)

 

Republicans in the North Carolina state Senate on Monday pushed through bill that would strip public benefits like food stamps and job training for people who fail a drug test.

In 35-15 vote largely along party lines, senators passed SB 594. A single Democrat voted for the bill, and no Republicans voted against it.

The bill requires those applying for benefits to pay for their own drug tests. Applicants who test negative would be eligible to have the costs of their tests reimbursed. The policy could cost the state more than $2.1 million.

At the same time, senators rejected an amendment offered by Democratic state Sen. Gladys Robinson that would have drug tested lawmakers, the governor and cabinet secretaries.
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