Local & Regional
7:01 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Panel OKs drug testing of Oklahoma welfare recipients

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill to require drug testing for certain welfare recipients.

The bill by Oklahoma City Republican Sen. David Holt passed 5-3 on Monday in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, with Democrats opposing the measure. The bill already has been approved in the Republican-controlled House.

Holt removed from the bill an amendment added in the House that would have required drug tests for those seeking elected office. He described that amendment as a "stunt" by those who oppose the concept.

The bill requires those receiving Temporary Benefits for Needy Families, or TANF, to pay for a drug test and then be reimbursed if they test negative. Under the bill, children whose parents fail a test could receive benefits through a designated appointee.