Bill would test welfare recipients for drugs

Posted: Tuesday, January 05, 2010

WASILLA - A Wasilla legislator is proposing legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Social Services to test recipients of public assistance for drug use.

House Republican Wes Keller says the agency could withhold public assistance if there's a positive result, but the measure is intended to address substance abuse problems more that it is to penalize anyone.

Caseworkers, for example, might direct the person with the positive test toward a treatment program.

Keller told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman newspaper that he has gotten positive feedback on his idea, estimating that more than 90 percent of the e-mail responses have been supportive.

The 2010 session starts Jan 19.

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