Most Virginians are in favor of requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug test, according to a new poll released Thursday morning by Quinnipiac University. The poll found that Virginia voters by a margin of 76-21 support drug testing as a requirement in order to qualify for public assistance.
But it could be at least a year before the Virginia legislature addresses the issue by actually voting on legislation, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch
A state House panel on Wednesday carried over consideration of a bill to impose the test to 2013 to give delegates more time to consider the potential costs, which some estimates peg at $1 million a year, the Times-Dispatch said.
But the newspaper also reported that a similar measure was scheduled to at least be brought up Thursday in the state Senate Finance Committee.
The Republican-sponsored House measure would require the screening of people who receive benefits from the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare program to help determine if they use illegal substances.
The Times-Dispatch said it was unclear in the bill exactly what the screening would entail. Opponents of the testing said it raises constitutional questions and also singles out the poor.
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