(Frankfort, Ky.) - If Kentucky lawmakers approve of a new bill, citizens may have to pass a drug test before they can receive public assistance.
Representative Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster) has put his stamp on House Bill 208, which would make those tests random for those who get food stamps or other benefits such as Medicaid.
“Let me say that public assistance is a good thing, especially given the continued rate of unemployment in our commonwealth,” said Rep. Napier. “However given the fact that some may be abusing these programs, including using these funds to purchase drugs, it is essential that we require anyone receiving government assistance to submit to testing. Most employers require drug testing as a requirement for employment, and we need to do the same for those getting assistance through the government.”
Napier tells the Lexington Herald-Leader his goal is to get people off drugs. Those who fail one test would have the opportunity to pass another later on and receive assistance once again.
Critics of the proposal, however, say the law could harm children whose well-being depends on the benefits their parents receive.
While there are costs involved for such a program, Napier says the law would eventually save the state money.