Indiana House Approves Welfare Drug Test Bill

The Republican-controlled Indiana House voted overwhelmingly Monday to approve a "reasonable suspicion" drug testing bill for welfare recipients. House Bill 1483 advanced to the state Senate on a 78-17 vote.

The bill would require all adult recipients of Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to undergo an assessment to see if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they might be using illicit drugs. Recipients who are deemed "suspicious" would then go into a pool for random drug testing, with half of the pool members being subjected to drug testing.

People who fail the drug test would lose their benefits unless they enrolled in a drug treatment program and produced negative results on future drug tests. Repeated positive drug tests could result in the permanent loss of benefits.

The bill defines "reasonable suspicion" as having been charged with a drug offense, having previously presented positive drug test results, or having been assessed as a likely drug user by the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory test, a commercial test that claims a 90% accuracy rate.

The House approved the bill despite a legislative staff financial analysis that showed the state would spend $2.7 million on the program to possibly the save the state $1.5 million in denied benefits. That means the state would lose $1.2 million next year if the bill were to become law.

– Article originally from Stop the Drug War, used with permission.



  1. Anonymous on

    What we need is a win win situation

    Have a balanced diet prepared for people on social assistance.

    As well as safe and utility covered housing.

    There is no money to be used for drugs if one suffers from a drug addiction.

    They also get their necessities which I think we all agree can not be stripped from our citizens in their time of need.

    Lastly, we create social programs to help our citizens struggling from drug and mental distress in order to help them join society and further themselves as well as the rest of our culture.

    It’s a win win, without having to create retarded proposals such as “If they test positive we take away their food money”.

  2. Anonymous on

    “OK HERE”S THE DEAL”…anyone with a “drug habit”, such as the need for prescription drugs should have to pay for it…?
    Typical U.S right wing approach. Why not try actually helping people find work?
    How about anyone who has a job be tested too, why not just drug test anyone? even better, let’s start locking everyone up just for the fun of it..and see what kind of civil war we can have..because that’s where the un-united states are headed.

  3. mike on

    Ok heres the deal.
    Anyone on public assistance should definitely be drug tested simply because if they can buy drugs then they should have a job to support their habit. Not support their habit with my tax dollars. Public assistance is for necessity not for personal habits.its just that simple.

  4. Anonymous on

    This bill just assumes the same thing all these other foolish bills do.

    That somehow living on 100-200 bucks a month is glorious.

    Funny how none of these millionaire republicans ever even try it out – just to see how great our poor have it.

  5. Anonymous on

    Funny how the republicans fight tooth and nail for millionaires and billionaires yet we can’t put food in a poor persons belly.

    Maybe we have it backwards?

  6. Anonymous on

    I wonder if the republicans will ever get it.

    The reason we provide social assistance to our fellow citizens is because of a social contract.

    They are forced into a society without their consent and as such have to live by it’s rules. The flip-side to this loss of liberty is that the society provides for one when they can not achieve this on their own (which they might have been able to do in a state of nature).

    Secondly, if someone is not provided the necessities by society they will have to find the means for these necessities in other forums. This is through crime (theft, assault, etc.)

    I sometimes wonder how grown men without the most basic understanding of practical life are elected to such powerful positions based solely on ideology. Ideology without grasp on real life is just fairy-tales.