Kansas.com — Calling drug addiction a “scourge in Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday a bill to test welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of using illegal drugs.
“This is a horrific thing that hits so many people,” he said. “What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem.”
The drug testing bill lets the Department for Children and Families require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs. That could be triggered by a person’s demeanor, missed appointments or police records.
Opponents of the bill said that may leave the decision open to people’s biases. But the bill was swiftly approved by the House 106-16 and backed by the Senate on a 29-9 vote.
Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, called it “the most treatment-focused drug testing bill in the entire country.”