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Published February 05, 2013, 06:55 PM

Proposed North Dakota House bill would require drug tests for welfare recipients

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - A group of North Dakota Lawmakers say if you want federal temporary aid, you should be drug free. A proposed bill would require people on or hoping to receive welfare to first pass a drug test.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - A group of North Dakota Lawmakers say if you want federal temporary aid, you should be drug free. A proposed bill would require people on or hoping to receive welfare to first pass a drug test.

For some, the benefits of receiving welfare far outweigh the stigma that may come with.

Timothy Anton - Fargo: "I got food stamps for years when we had kids. So no, not everyone is on drugs that are on welfare."

House Bill 1385 wants to make sure that's the case.

Timothy Anton: "If you have a drug test in order to work and get money, getting money for free, you should definitely have drug testing."

The proposed bill would require drug testing for welfare recipients. That's where testers like Gene Schmidt come into play.

Gene Schmidt – Schmidt & Associates: "I think it's a pretty good deal. We do a lot of testing for social services right now and we're starting to see more and more of a lot of different drugs coming back."

Each person looking for help would have to step into the bathroom at a drug testing site, fill a testing cup, and come back clean

Ralph Johnson - Fargo: "There's too many people out there getting a free ride"

And too much evidence of drug use, making its way into testing cups

Gene Schmidt; "The three that we see most of lately are a lot of prescription drugs and meth, and marijuana."

Last year Cass County had more than 250 families receiving help under the bill if one person tests positive. They'd be ineligible for welfare for an entire year. A second offense brings a 3 year penalty.

Matt Noah- Fargo: "The reasons behind it are admirable. They're trying to get people off drugs."

Timothy Anton: "Enough money is wasted as it is. There's no sense in wasting money for things that could go for other people if other people could also use it."

The Cass County Social Services director says the bill goes against the constitution, and he believes people receiving welfare should not be targeted more than anyone else.

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