Governor approves welfare drug testing measure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A measure to require drug testing as a condition for receiving welfare has been signed by Gov. Bill Haslam.

The legislation -- which passed the Senate 24-9 and 73-17 in the House -- requires new welfare applicants to undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant would be drug tested.

The proposal differs from an original version that would have required blanket testing.

The state's attorney general opined that approach would violate applicants' rights not to be drug tested unless there is suspicion they are using drugs.

Haslam told reporters Thursday that he's comfortable with the legislation because the Department of Human Services will develop the rules for the testing, and the state attorney general must make sure the process is constitutional.


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