Indiana House Revises Proposal To Test Welfare Recipients For Drugs

The Indiana House has revived a proposal to test welfare recipients for drugs, a measure that has failed previously to win legislative approval. House members voted 79-15 on Tuesday to include it in a bill making changes to Family and Social Services Administration policies.

The proposal from Democratic Rep. Terry Goodin of Austin would require drug testing for welfare recipients deemed at high risk for drug abuse or who've been previously charged with drug crimes. The proposal would offer counseling and additional tests before benefits are taken away.

Republicans pushed a similar proposal last year, but it failed in the Senate on a tie vote. Goodin said his proposal was spurred by concerns over intravenous drug abuse causing an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana's Scott County, which he represents.