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2013 House Bill 4118: Require drug testing of welfare applicants
  1. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on January 29, 2013, to require drug testing of state welfare benefit recipients or applicants if an "empirical screening tool" indicates a reasonable suspicion, and prohibit benefits for six months if a person tests positive a second time (or refuses "treatment" the first time). This would begin as a one-year pilot program in three counties.
    • Referred to the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee on January 29, 2013.
      • Reported in the House on April 17, 2013, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on April 30, 2013. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on April 30, 2013, to establish that if a welfare recipient is ordered to take a drug test and the results are negative, the person wouldn't have to pay the cost of the test. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D) on April 30, 2013, to establish that if a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive for drugs, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D) on April 30, 2013, to require that welfare applicants be informed they may be ordered to take a drug test. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on April 30, 2013, to require a methodology be used for picking counties for the proposed pilot program that picks one high population county, one low population county, and one in the middle. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on April 30, 2013, to add additional details that would have to be included on a report of the proposed pilot program's results. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D) on April 30, 2013, to exempt from proposed sanctions welfare recipients who test positive for a "controlled substance" if they have a prescription for it. This may apply to marijuana users who have a medical marijuana card. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Robert Kosowski (D) on April 30, 2013, to establish that all information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and substance abuse test results generated by the proposed drug testing program are confidential communications subject to federal “HIPA” law privacy protections, and may not be used as evidence in any legal proceedings, except for determining welfare eligibility. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on April 30, 2013, to exempt individuals age 65 and older from the proposed testing. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Robert Kosowski (D) on April 30, 2013, to require legislators take drug tests as a condition of the bill going into effect. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on April 30, 2013, to tie-bar the bill to House Bill 4610, meaning this bill cannot become law unless that one does also. HB 4610 would require drug testing for business executives whose firms receive "corporate welfare" from the state. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on April 30, 2013, to not impose sanctions on a person who is registered to use medical marijuana and who tests positive for this drug. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2013.
  2. Passed 77 to 33 in the House on May 1, 2013.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on May 2, 2013.
    • Referred to the Senate Families, Seniors & Human Services Committee on May 2, 2013.
      • Reported in the Senate on June 13, 2013, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Amendment offered in the Senate on March 18, 2014, to clarify that a positive drug test does not trigger sanctions if it is determined to have been the result of actions that do not violate state law. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on March 18, 2014.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Vincent Gregory (D) on March 20, 2014, to establish that if a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive for drugs, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money.
      • Moved to reconsider in the Senate on March 20, 2014, the vote by which the Gregory amendment was adopted. The motion passed 25 to 10 in the Senate on March 20, 2014.
        Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on March 20, 2014.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Joe Hune (R) on March 20, 2014, to establish exceptions for drug tests that find prescription drugs and medical marijuana. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on March 20, 2014.
  4. Passed 25 to 11 in the Senate on March 20, 2014, to require a one-year pilot program in at least three counties that would require drug testing of state welfare benefit recipients and applicants if an "empirical screening tool" indicates a reasonable suspicion of drug use. Benefits would be halted for six months if a person tests positive or refuses to take the test, with an exception for medical marijuana. If a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money. The bill appropriates $500,000 for the pilot program.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the House on March 20, 2014.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on December 3, 2014, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on December 3, 2014.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on December 3, 2014, to establish that if a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive for drugs, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on December 3, 2014.
  6. Passed 74 to 35 in the House on December 3, 2014, to require a one-year pilot program in at least three counties that would require drug testing of state welfare benefit recipients and applicants if an "empirical screening tool" indicates a reasonable suspicion of drug use. Benefits would be halted for six months if a person tests positive or refuses to take the test, with an exception for medical marijuana. If a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money. The bill appropriates $500,000 for the pilot program.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  7. Received in the Senate on December 4, 2014.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Vincent Gregory (D) on December 10, 2014, to establish that if a welfare recipient who is a parent tests positive for drugs, the child would still be eligible for assistance, and a "protective payee" would be designated to receive the parent's welfare money. The amendment passed 26 to 10 in the Senate on December 10, 2014.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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