Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, pre-filed Senate Bill 292, legislation which would require mandatory drug testing to determine welfare eligibility.
. It would require recipients of Medicaid and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare programs to undergo drug tests similar to the routine drug-screening measures set forth by private sector employers.
“Whether you work to receive compensation or collect government assistance, the same standards should apply,” said Albers. “If individuals are receiving aid at the taxpayer’s expense, citizens have the right to know how their funds are being appropriated.”
The bills’ provisions outline that if an applicant fails to comply with state-mandated drug testing or produces a positive result, the applicant will be disqualified from receiving state benefits for a specified period of time which will be determined by the Georgia Department of Human Services.
To receive welfare benefits, applicants already submit to a detailed application process and drug-screening measures would serve as an additional eligibility requirement. In an effort to protect the privacy of welfare applicants, screening results would remain confidential to protect against the scrutiny of public opinion.
“The Social Responsibility and Accountability Act touts the virtues of individual responsibility and accountability, and relieves the taxpayer from undue tax burdens,” said Albers. “The proposed legislation would serve to reward law-obeying citizens who need assistance the most.”