Ohio Lawmakers Propose Drug Testing For Public Assistance

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 by Sarah Jane Tribble

Republican Rep. Tim Schaffer says House Bill 298 is aimed at helping drug abusers get treatment.  
 
"There are no criminal penalties, all it does it says if you don't pass the assessment and then you don't pass the subsequent drug test, then we're going to get you counseling, get you the treatment you need so you can break the cycle of drug addiction." 
 
Schaffer says the cash assistance would still go to the families of the drug abusers through a protective payee. That person would ensure the money goes to the dependents rather than the addict. Several counties have already volunteered to be part of the pilot. 
 
The nonprofit Center for Community Solutions released a report earlier this month opposing the bill. The report says requiring welfare applicants to submit to drug tests will undermine the goal of helping those with substance abuse disorder. 
 
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