OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Guy Liebmann announced today he plans to file legislation for the 2012 legislative session that would require drug testing of individuals applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
|Rep. Guy Liebmann|
“Federal law already gives states the right to test welfare recipients for use of controlled substances and sanction those recipients who test positively,” Liebmann (R-Oklahoma City) said. “My legislation would just make it mandatory. It’s just a common-sense bill and one that is already being signed into law in other states.”
Liebmann noted that Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently signed similar legislation into law. The new Florida law requires the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to conduct drug tests on adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Applicants who test positive for controlled substances will be disqualified from receiving temporary cash assistance for one year, unless the individual chooses to seek substance abuse treatment. If the individual chooses treatment, he or she can reapply within a 6-month time frame.
Liebmann said he would like to include a provision allowing parents who test positive for controlled substances to sign up a relative to serve as a protective payee to receive benefits for a dependent child.
“I expect there will be other concerns and I welcome input to further fine-tune the bill,” Liebmann said.