My bill starting drug testing for (TANF) government benefits passed the senate finance 8-3!!! Its headed to the floor!!!
It all came together this morning. Some last minute tweaking on the implementation timeline and treatment options made it happen.
The new bill will be fully fazed in by 2014 but testing could begin in some areas rather quickly. In the program now, someone failing a drug test will be given a chance to enter a 6 month treatment program without losing benefits but they are required to comply and complete the program or lose benefits for the full 6 months. After that another test will be given and if they fail it they will be out of benefits for another year minimum.
Of course children will still get the benefit if a parent tests positive, but the money will go to someone who will make sure the child actually gets the money. Not a drug habit.
A big shout out is owed to Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey. He brought all the parties together and helped make sure a compromise was reached.