Bill Would Require Drug Tests For Jobless Benefits

AUSTIN (AP) – State lawmakers are considering legislation that would require unemployed Texans to pass a drug test before collecting jobless benefits.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Ken Legler of suburban Houston would deny unemployment dollars to those who fail a drug test.

He said allowing drug-users to collect benefits is stealing from hard-working people who aren’t on drugs.

Texas business owners testifying before a House committee Thursday said they already require pre-employment drug tests for applicants. They said the tests boost confidence that prospective workers are drug-free.

Opponents say the legislation would violate privacy rights and raise constitutional questions.

The Texas chapter of American Federation of Teachers says thousands of teachers facing layoffs because of budget cuts shouldn’t have to be tested for drugs to get unemployment benefits.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. GOFORIT says:

    great ideal !!!

    1. gary sides says:

      We should also make the people on welfare and food stamps take drug test also thank you Gary Sides

      1. Xephon says:

        I agree. It’s not an invasion of privacy or unconstitutional, it’s common f%&*ing sense!
        Only problem I see is the poor kids who’s parents aren’t clean, and get a job will do without. If feeding your own children isn’t already a big enough reason for you to clean up, what difference will it make to take their support away? Means the state would be forced to take in a lot more children…

      2. TONY says:


  2. Alan Floyd says:

    Why not include the lawmakers in the drug test as well? I wonder how many would pass?

    1. L J says:

      I agree. If we are going to drug test the unfortunate before government helps them out then we should require that all elected officials to be drug tested too (don’t forget to look for prescription drug use without a scrip). I mean if its a problem for an unemployed person to use drugs then its definitely a problem for those who would make decisions for our state to be on drugs. It’ll never happen-hypocrits.

    2. david says:

      i agree

    3. bigbubbatadsworth says:

      Start, with Rick Perry, and the guy who proposed the bill.

    4. Tony says:


  3. Lucy says:

    Definitely a great idea….let’s also drug test those on food stamps and housing!

  4. Belinda says:

    Unemployment is money that each EMPLOYEE has already put in years of service to receive if you are layed off or fired without cause. It’s not a gift and shouldn’t be treated as one! If you have worked on your job and your employer has paid for unemployment you should be eligible to receive it no questions asked! This is rediculous! Now housing and food stamps is another subject because so many people get these benefits that have not put anything into it, I feel it wouldn’t hurt to drug test them!

    1. Pat says:

      You might want to check your facts…
      The money for Unemployment Benefits comes from taxes the employers pay to the state and federal governments. The law does not allow employers to deduct money from your paycheck to pay for Unemployment Benefits. .

  5. heather says:

    So. . . Who is paying for the testing? Most people who use drugs can go three days without and pass, with pot just drink enough water to dilute. Housing and foodstamps? Fine, just dont complain about stepping over all the homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks.

  6. Kathy says:

    I have been unemployed for 6 months now. I do not do drugs so it would not bother me if I had to be tested. But who is going to pay for all the tests to be run? They aren’t cheap, especially when you consider the number of unemployed in the state right now, and how often would the testing be done? My benefits are about to run out and I have not even had a close call at getting another job. I would rather see the money used to help the unemployed who are genuinely out there day in day out trying to find work.

  7. Steve says:

    Test em

  8. pmunger says:

    I thought conservatives wanted the government not to intrude on our lives as much.
    Now we get drug testing for the unemployed, sonograms for women seeking abortion, picture ID’s for anyone voting, restrictions on student voting rights, denial of collective bargaining rights, etc, etc.
    What they really mean is, they don’t want the government intruding on them but want the right to use the government to shape social policy and consolidate their political power.

    1. Get Over It says:

      Wrong there pmug, we just want you to behave like a good American and quit trying to cheat the system. Wake up.

      1. John Kingwood says:

        Pmug is right on the money. I can’t find a thing he said about cheating the system. For a party that is all about small government and individual rights I find that they sure do like to tell everyone else what to do with their bodies and who to pray to.

    2. duh says:

      republican tea terrorist only want the govt to intrude when it is something they want!

    3. matt s says:

      pmunger is correct it is incredibly hypocritical to support small government but then propose laws to shape social and political policy. What also confuses me about the right is that they pretend to be experts on economic policy however they seem to forget the concept of external costs. Don’t you think that by cutting programs they are simply going to promote crime, increase overall healthcare costs, and leave many of our children uneducated.

  9. bigbubbatadsworth says:

    This a dumb idea, and a waste of money. People who do drugs, know how to beat the test. Anyway, who’s going to pay for it?

  10. bigbubbatadsworth says:

    Once again, Texas has proven that it is one of the dumbest states, in the union. Our politicians, are idiots. It’s hard to out stupid, Texas. If we’re broke, who’s going to pay for the testing? I guess those idiots, that we elected, didn’t think of that?

  11. Kim Dar says:

    I think those that collect welfare, food stamps and section 8 housing should be checked out first. That way their medicaid can pay for it. Most of those on unemployment are not on drugs. Unemployment is not something the government GIVES those folks that is paid for by their companies why do you think most of the fight having to pay it.

    1. Russ Martin says:

      I think all republican tea terrorist should be checked daily since we know they are on something.

  12. don w says:

    how about the ones who are sick and use pot to alleviate kemo side effects or the ones who have glaucoma that use it to help with the pressure on the eyes. Pot isnt legal in Texas for medical use but many who are ill have to get some relief that ordinary means cant help. and yes some people really do use it for medical purposes. these people typically for medical reasons cant work.

  13. Craig says:

    Finally someone who is willing to stand up and do the unpopular!! There should be no privay issues here, if you recieve government welfare of ANY kind, you should be subject to drug testing. I’m all for blood tests, not the urine tests that are easily bypassed. If you are living off my tax dollars, you shold not be using them to buy drugs! Plain and simple! You can’t use drugs if you are working, so this would give them incentive to get clean!

    1. tOFF says:

      Unemployment isn’t welfare.It their money,only republican tea terrorist would think of doing it the Nazi way !

  14. concerned conservative. says:

    What kind of drugs do they want us to test? I hope it’s something good. Now send me my check.

  15. Randy says:

    All of the people that test pos. for drugs we can put them in jail or rehab for a year teach them a new trade. Pay child support and provide health insurance for their children. when they are done with rehab they will be smarter off drugs and their children will be healthy smarter and if we are lucky they will grow up and be productive drug free americans.

  16. Amy says:

    And who is going to screen the politicians who abuse their position by not working for their constituents but for those who line their pockets? They get so many free rides including great heathcare benefits it is criminal; they even give themselves a raise. Yes there are people using drugs everyday in this country and they collect unemployment and food stamps and they have families to support who are innocent victims. We are all victims of a system which allows those in authority to be rewarded unfairly. Let’s start at the top and remove the waste in our government, then, we can focus on others.

  17. Norm Flippo says:

    Lets foget the un employed for a minute and discuss or Honrable Government Employees and high in mighty writers of Bills!

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below..

    A. Two Six-year Senate terms
    B. Six Two-year House terms
    C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

    2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

    4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. Including Annual Drug Testing…

    8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 10-1-11

    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work or ask for un employment benefits like the rest of us.

    If you like this idea send it 20 friends, If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time..

  18. texas heartland says:

    If we could just get them to do it for those on welfare, we would save a huge amount of money. How many welfare folks could pass a drug test???

  19. Topkatt says:

    The 2 things are not related. When will smaller Government mean smaller government? You Republicans are trying to run everyone’s life by punishment and persecution. How much does good ole Ricky boy own of the drug testing company? I’m tired of financially supporting conservatives moral judgments on things that they better be glad, they know nothing about. Aren’t you the ones screaming about bring God back into American culture? Just what God are you guy’s worshiping these days? I’d be all for it if you couldn’t go buy liquor on every corner. I say every politician should be tested every 12 hours for alcohol and “prescription” medication and wear a Politicam on their heads so we can see and hear what they do every minute they are on the public’s payroll. It IS technically possible. Conservative Christian Republicans are not conservative, Christian, or very good Republicans!

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