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Politics & Government

State Senate rejects idea of drug testing certain TANF recipients

The state Senate has rejected a bill that originally would have required drug testing for some recipients of the temporary assistance for needy families program.

The Senate first amended the bill, so that drug testing would only apply to those people entering the workforce after being on “TANF.”

Sen. Tom Campbell (R-Grafton)said his point in offering the bill was to provide assistance to drug addicts, and break what he called a cycle – where if the parents are using drugs, chances are the children will end also up as addicts down the road. Campbell said he believes there is widespread drug use among TANF recipients.

"Enough is enough," Campbell said during floor debate. "I feel now is a time to send a message -- not tbat we gotcha, but we love ya."

Campbell sais it's long overdue . And he sad it's time to send a "tough love" message to parents.

Sen. Judy Lee (R-West Fargo) voted for the amended bill in the Senate Human Services Committee – but voted “no” on the Senate floor.

"I have seen no data, ever, that said individuals in TANF are abusing this to a large extent in North Dakota at all," Lee told her Senate colleagues.

The bill failed 26 to 20.

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