Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Senate OKs drug testing of some welfare recipients

First Published Mar 08 2012 09:50 am • Last Updated Mar 12 2012 10:52 am

A day after a state senator said welfare recipients "sit around and go fishing," the Senate gave final approval to a bill that will force some on welfare to undergo drug testing.

Senators voted 23-4 on Thursday to approve HB155 and sent it to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The bill would require those who receive cash assistance and participate in Utah’s Family Employment Program to fill out a questionnaire and, if answers create suspicions that applicants are using drugs, it would require them to take a drug test. If they test positive for drugs, they are then required to undergo treatment.

In debate Wednesday, Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, created some controversy by saying, "It don’t go far enough."

He added, "It’s a shame that people that want to work for a living has to be … [subjected] to drug tests, but people who want to sit around and go fishing in the afternoons don’t."

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-West Jordan, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said people would not lose benefits unless they refuse to answer the questionnaire, refuse to take drug tests or do not keep up with treatment — as shown by failing drug tests.

Osmond said the change is designed to help, not put down, people in the program by identifying early on those who may have substance abuse problems so they can get help. "This bill is both compassionate and addresses the fact that if they have a drug problem, it’s going to be very hard for them to keep a job," Osmond said.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.