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[r68] Drug test bill inspires safer environment for Hoosier children
Start Date: 2/25/2013 All Day
End Date: 2/25/2013
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE – On Monday, a bill passed out of House that would require Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Fund recipients to adhere to a random drug-examination. House Bill (HB) 1483 passed with a 78 to 17 vote and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

“The bill is not meant to be punitive but incentivize individuals receiving TANF funds to make the right decisions,” said State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville). “We need to provide the best possible environment for our Hoosier children and whenever drugs are involved in a household, they are at risk. This bill would assist those facing substance abuse problems in getting help and works to establish a safer environment for our children.”

The bill, authored by Rep. McMillin and co-authored by Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo), would require a county office to administer a written or electronic substance abuse exam to all individuals receiving TANF benefits. Based on the results, if the county office considers an individual to have reasonable suspicion of illegally using a controlled substance, they are placed into a separate group for further testing.  Fifty percent of that group is then randomly selected to take a drug examination.

If an individual, who is randomly selected, tests positive for illegal substance abuse, they can continue to receive their benefits if they enroll in a substance abuse treatment program. If they are unable to test clean while in treatment, their benefits will be removed for a total of three months.

After the three month period is up, they will be eligible to reapply for benefits and an additional drug test must be passed for benefit reinstatement. If the individual again fails to test clean on that exam, they will lose their TANF benefits permanently, or if they pass the test, they will receive their benefits once more.

“The idea is to create a system of accountability, one that encourages responsibility and safety for Hoosiers,” said Rep. VanNatter. “This is not a punishment. It is not meant to make it difficult for those who need help to obtain it. This is an important step for the Legislature to take, and it will go a long way to help protect Hoosiers. It will also provide an opportunity for abusers to get the assistance they need.”

Currently, there are no programs in place or provisions to revoke TANF benefits unless eligibility changes or fraud can be proven. If enacted, HB 1483 would go into effect on July 1, 2014.

“It is important that we continue to help those in need while requiring accountability to ensure that tax dollars are being used appropriately and responsibly,” said Rep. McMillin.

Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information on HB 1483.

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Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek or Grace Atherton
Phone: 317-234-9290
Email: bgavelek@iga.in.gov
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    > Drug test bill inspires safer environment for Hoosier children
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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