Drug testing bill passes OK Senate

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 OKLAHOMA CITY—A drug-testing bill that was recently approved by the Oklahoma Senate is being called controversial by some.

The proposed law would apply to about 4,000 Oklahoma adults each month who receive temporary assistance from the state.

House Bill 2388 would force TANF recipients, or families that receive some type of financial assistance from the state to submit to a drug test.

Sen. David Holt said, “If you’re on illegal drugs, you’re probably not in the best place for the program and our money can be better spent elsewhere.”

Sen. Holt co-authored the bill and provided amendments that would still provide food benefits, even if the recipient is found to be a drug user.

However, the cash benefit would be revoked until they tested clean of drugs.

Holt said, “From now on, if this bill becomes law they will receive the drug treatment program but we are going to hold back the TANF cash benefits until they’re clean.”

After six months and being found clean, adults may reapply for the assistance.

The measure passed with a 46-2 vote.

Sen. Constance Johnson said, “We should be doing something to help the family, not penalize the family because we don’t do that to any other group, so why are we doing it to TANF recipients?”