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West Virginia to Require Drug Testing for Some Welfare Recipients

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In a pretty stiff blow to the Left’s welfare-for-all agenda, the West Virginia Senate just gave the thumbs-up to a bill requiring drug testing for some welfare recipients deemed to be likely drug users.

Senators voted 32-2 to O.K. the bill that mandates people who have a “reasonable suspicion” of drug abuse be tested before getting benefits.

Charleston’s WOWKTV explained the bill’s three-strikes setup:

Failing a first test would require substance abuse treatment, counseling and a job skills program. A second failure would spur up to a one-year benefits suspension. A third would cause a permanent ban.


The report added that a caseworker could decide if a person was determined to be a potential drug user. Persons who had been convicted of a drug-related crime in the last five years would also be tested.

The bill also seeks to protect children while penalizing parents who abuse drugs by requiring that their benefits be channeled through a third party.

According to recent reports, West Virginia has the highest drug overdose rate in the nation at about 34 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2011-13, more than double the national average. The state's drug problem is concentrated heavily in the Appalachian region of the state, which is also home to some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the country.

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