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Proposed bill requires drug test for food stamp recipients

A recently proposed bill would make drug tests a requirement for food stamp recipients.

Posted: Jan 29, 2019 4:59 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 8:00 PM

A series of bills were just recently introduced that could bring some changes to Alabama’s welfare program.

The bills would prohibit work waivers and require people to work, volunteer or get an education while receiving benefits. It would also require a drug test.

Alabama Representative Tommy Hanes says the bills will make the food stamp program more efficient and ensure tax payers' money is used towards the right thing.

“It’s time to eliminate food stamp fraud," Hanes said. “In order to better provide for families who are in need, this issue must be addressed. We owe it to the working-class taxpayers to make this program as efficient and waste free as possible.”

However, some people question whether a drug test is necessary for food stamp recipients.

"I don't think that has anything to do with why someone has food on the table," Donnell Harris said. "The person who is receiving food stamps could also be feeding children as well. So, will we be taking food out of the mouths of babies, young people who are minors? Will we take food out of their mouths in order to punish people who may be using drugs for reasons we don't understand?"

One of the bills that was pre-filed states benefits would be transferred to a family member or a designated person if the recipient tested positive.

Right now, the Alabama Department of Human Resources says they don't have a position on the bills because they are reviewing them.

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