Indiana is hardly the first state to tie welfare benefits to drug tests—dozens of states have passed or considered similar measures in the past several years. But if the outcomes of those policies are any indication, Indiana’s program is doomed to fail. Lawmakers who defend drug testing for welfare recipients claim that it will encourage personal responsibility, ensure that taxpayer money doesn’t fund drug use and save the state big bucks on undeserved benefits.
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The Indiana Senate Health Committee last week approved a bill that would mandate drug testing for welfare recipients. Those who test positive for drugs will be required to enter a treatment program—at their own expense—in order to continue receiving benefits. The bill has already passed the House, but Republican Gov. Mike Pence has not indicated whether he’ll sign it.
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