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Ohio Senator Proposes Drug Testing for Welfare Applicants

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A state senator is reigniting his push for drug testing applicants of Ohio’s welfare program known as Ohio Works First.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

The bill, which is expected to be formally released on Thursday, would create a pilot program for drug testing. Three counties would volunteer for the two-year period.

Senator Tim Schaffer of Lancaster says applicants would undergo a drug test if a reasonable cause is determined during a screening process. If that person tests positive then they will go to a drug treatment program and the state assistance will continue to go to their families.

“We cannot allow the cycle of drug-induced dependency to continue," Schaffer says. "This is drug induced poverty and dependency and I think we all know pretty well that—you know from media reports over the years and decades that this tends to perpetuate itself in our society and this program this legislation will help break that cycle.”

Opponents of the program fire back saying that this bill inappropriately targets low-income families and generalizes them as drug users. They also contend that the $100,000 dollars included in the proposed law would not be enough to cover drug treatment.

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