Welfare drug screening bill divides lawmakers

Indiana Statehouse
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana proposal to screen welfare recipients for addictions and limit food stamp use to nutritional foods only is moving to the state Senate despite questions about its constitutionality and cost.

The bill co-authored by Republican Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville calls for those who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to fill out a questionnaire that screens for substance abuse. Those who appear likely to have an addiction could be required to take a drug test.

The bill also would restrict what can be bought through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. McMillin says that would likely prohibit recipients from using their food stamp benefits to buy candy and sugary drinks.

Both issues have sparked court fights in other states.

The House has already approved the measure.

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