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Drug testing for welfare benefits produces same, slim results in Arkansas

Drug testing for welfare benefits produces same, slim results in Arkansas


count on for local news that matters, this is KARK 4 News at 6.” ((ASHLEY)) ABOUT A DOZEN STATES REQUIRE DRUG TESTING FOR CERTAIN WELFARE RECIPIENTS. ARKANSAS IS ONE OF THEM. THANKS FOR JOINING US TONIGHT AT 6 áá I’M ASHLEY KETZ ((BOB)) AND I’M BOB CLAUSEN áá STATE LAWMAKERS APPROVED A PILOT PROGRAM FOR THIS IN 20á15… AND MADE THE DRUG TESTING REQUIREMENT PERMANENT IN 20á17. KARK 4’S JESSI TURNURE REVISITS THE DEBATE AND JOINS US WITH HOW THE PROGRAM HAS SINCE WORKED. ((JESSI )) THERE ARE STILL DIFFERING OPINIONS… BUT ONE CONSTANT… THE TEST RESULTS HAVE BEEN THE SAME EVERY YEAR. ((St. Rep. Robin Lundstrum/(R) Elm Springs)) “This is a deterrant.” IN 20á17… ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS DEBATED MAKING A DRUG TESTING REQUIREMENT PERMAMENT FOR CERTAIN WELFARE RECIPIENTS… “TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES” BENEFITS. THIRTEEN WERE REFERRED FOR DRUG TESTS. EIGHT REFUSED TO TAKE THE TEST OR FAILED TO SHOW UP. OF THE FIVE APPLICANTS TESTED… TWO WERE POSITIVE. THE STATE SPENT MORE THAN $32,000 DOLLARS TO DETERMINE THIS. ((St. Rep. Robin Lundstrum/(R) Elm Springs)) “If you fill out the form and you say you’re using illegal drugs, you’re tapped. That means that somebody else LESS ARKANSANS APPLIED FOR TANF BENEFITS. BUT OF THE HANDFUL WHO WERE REFERRED FOR DRUG TESTS… THE SAME NUMBER TESTED POSITIVE… TWO. THE STATE SPENT ALMOST $15,000 DOLLARS TO DETERMINE THIS… ABOUT HALF THE COST OF 20á17. WHILE THE MAJORITY OF STATE LAWMAKERS HAVE AGREED IT’S WORTH IT… OTHERS THINK IT’S A WASTE. ((Bruno Showers/Senior Policy Analyst, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families)) “It’s bad for lowáincome kids and families, but it’s also a very inefficient way of using government money. It’s not cost effective.” SUPPORTERS WANTED THE REQUIREMENT TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF TANF APPLICANTS… WHICH IS HAPPENING… BUT OPPONENTS SAY FILED A BILL THAT WOULD DRUG TEST STATE LAWMAKERS. IT LOOKED SIMILAR TO THE TANF LAW… SUBSTITUTING “APPLICANT OR RECIPIENT” WITH “ELECTED OFFICIAL.” BACK TO YOU.

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