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Senate Committee Approves Drug Testing For Welfare Benefits

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee has approved a bill to require drug screening before receiving welfare.

The committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 11 on Tuesday. Republican Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson authored the bill and said it will make sure recipients won’t use the assistance to buy drugs.

Texas operates a program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to make sure poor families can meet their basic needs. Under the bill, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will screen applicants to determine if they are a drug risk. Those who appear to use drugs, or have been convicted of a drug offense, will have to undergo testing.

The bill includes a system to make sure children will receive benefits, even if their guardian tests positive for drugs.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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