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Perry Calls For Mandatory Drug Screening For Welfare Recipients

The 2013 Texas legislative session is only weeks away. Governor Rick Perry says he agrees with other state lawmakers calling for mandatory drug screening for recipients of welfare and unemployment benefits.

“Illegal drug abuse is not something that taxpayers in Texas are ever going to approve being subsidized.” 

During a visit of an energy company in Montgomery County, Perry urged the state Legislature to pass a bill that would make it mandatory for welfare and unemployment benefit recipients to pass a drug test.

Perry says the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family program, or TANF, as well as unemployment insurance, are meant for people who are serious about finding employment.

“It’s simply not the role of the employers, who fund these benefits, to carry workers who keep themselves in an unemployable condition.”

He says under such a bill, those Texans who are temporarily out of a job and don’t use illegal drugs will continue to receive benefits. But the state will save money by refusing to fund those who wouldn’t qualify for many jobs due to drug abuse.

“Every dollar that goes to someone who uses it inappropriately is a dollar that can’t go to a Texan who needs it for housing, child care or medicine.”

State Senator Jane Nelson has pre-filed a bill to require drug screening for TANF applicants.

For the governor’s entire speech.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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