Tags: Rick Snyder | Michigan | welfare | drug-test

Michigan to Drug-Test Some Suspected Welfare Recipients

By    |   Friday, 26 Dec 2014 10:07 PM

Some of Michigan's welfare recipients will be drug-tested if they're suspected of using drugs, under a year-long pilot program, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has announced.

Starting in three counties, any adult welfare recipient who is suspected of using drugs but refuses to be tested won't be able to collect benefits for six months.

Anyone failing the drug test will be booted off the rolls until he has completed treatment and passed another drug test.

Snyder signed legislation for the pilot program Friday; it has to end by Sept. 30, 2016. The three counties that will be involved haven't been announced yet.

"We want to remove the barriers that are keeping people from getting good jobs, supporting their families and living independently," Snyder said.

"This pilot program is intended to help ensure recipients get the wrap-around services they need to overcome drug addiction and lead successful lives. We'll then have opportunity to assess effectiveness and outcomes."

The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency estimated a statewide program would cost roughly $700,000 to $3.4 million, while potentially saving $370,000 to $3.7 million in caseload reductions.

The American Civil Liberties Union has argued, however, that the program would promote denigrating stereotypes of poor people and discriminate against a group that doesn't use drugs at a rate significantly higher than the general population.

BuzzFeed notes that in 2011, Florida tested a similar program, but a subsequent state-issued report showed it neither saved any money nor discouraged people from applying for benefits.

Michigan has roughly 80,000 welfare recipients, 21,000 of them adults who could be subject to drug testing depending on which counties are included in the program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Some of Michigan's welfare recipients will be drug-tested if they're suspected of using drugs, under a year-long pilot program, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has announced.
Rick Snyder, Michigan, welfare, drug-test
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2014-07-26
Friday, 26 Dec 2014 10:07 PM
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