Applicants for the federal assistance program known as Work First may soon have to pass a drug screen before being eligible for benefits under Senate Bill 594, which was introduced by Senator Jim Davis (R-50). The bill, which passed the Senate Monday night in a 35-15 vote, is now heading to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The bill requires those seeking benefits and those currently enrolled in the program to pay for the drug tests upfront. If the tests are negative, applicants would be reimbursed for the tests through an increase in Work First payments. For applicants who test positive for controlled substances, they would be ineligible for benefits for a minimum of one year.