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Perry To OK Drug Testing For Unemployment

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AUSTIN (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry is to sign a law mandating drug testing for some unemployment benefits recipients.

The governor is holding a special signing ceremony Friday at the Capitol.

Under current law, employers hold insurance policies to help laid-off workers survive on weekly payments of $62 to $440. Those fired for cause, including failing an employer-sponsored drug test, don’t qualify.

The changes already approved by the Texas House and Senate would require workers who lose their jobs to fill out state questionnaires. Answers considered suspicious lead to drug tests. Anyone failing a test would lose their benefits.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Tommy Williams of The Woodlands, says it will help maintain a competent workforce.

Democrats, meanwhile, successfully blocked a separate measure that sought to drug-test welfare recipients.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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