Editorials

Need for drug test not shown

In the 2013 Legislature, a bill to require drug testing for some welfare recipients made it out of the Senate, then died in the House because the session ended before a floor vote could be taken.

The sponsor of that legislation, Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has introduced another bill this term to require those seeking help from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (for families whose children need food and clothing) to submit to a drug test based on their responses to a screening questionnaire, the Texas Tribune reported.

Nelson has said that “taxpayer dollars should not be used to subsidize a person’s drug habit.”

We agree. But the Legislative Budget Board says the testing would cost $3.6 million over five years.

Before we spend that much money, shouldn’t someone demonstrate that the TANF program is currently funding drug abusers and a legislative solution is needed?

Remember that TANF is aimed at helping needy children. We suggest the legislators put away their negative assumptions about welfare recipients and concentrate on how they can best aid those underprivileged families seeking help from the state.

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