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Welfare Drug Test Veto Overridden By North Carolina GOP

The North Carolina GOP voted to override Gov. Pat Crory’s veto on a bill that would require drug tests for some of those who seek benefits from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also known as welfare.

Despite the state legislature’s vote on Wednesday, the governor refuses to budge on his stance, calling the bill a “bad way to fight drug abuse,” according to the Huffington Post.

However, State Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union) said in a statement on Wednesday that North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program called Work First is designed “specifically for helping move people off welfare and into jobs. Being drug free is an essential part of being able to find and keep a job.”

Republicans in the state legislature passed the bill that would require drug tests for some welfare applicants. Those applicants will have to pay out of pocket for the drug testing before they can receive benefits, according to

But Gov. McCrory (R) vetoed the bill in August.

“This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” Gov. McCrory said in a statement on his website at the time of the veto. “Similar efforts in other states have proved to be expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina.”

Arp said that the bill, HB392, was not meant to be “an effective way to fight criminal drug abuse but rather to end a bad practice of supporting active drug abusers with the hard earned money of law abiding North Carolinians.”

Other states have performed welfare drug testing. In 2011, Florida had welfare drug testing that seemed to cost more than it saved, while Utah saw similar results this year with a drug testing program that yielded only 12 positive test results.

Sources: The Huffington Post,


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