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Panel advances bill to test Indiana welfare recipients for drugs

INDIANAPOLIS – Some Indiana welfare recipients would face drug testing under a bill advancing in the state Legislature.

A House committee voted 9-4 along party lines Wednesday to send the proposal to the full Republican-controlled House.

The bill would require all applicants for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to complete a written screening test for possible drug abuse problems. Those identified as possible drug abusers would need to undergo a drug test and anyone failing would have to take part in a treatment program to continue receiving benefit payments.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville said it is aimed at helping those with drug abuse problems and improving the home environment for children.

Some questioned whether enough affordable drug treatment programs were available.