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South Dakota Wants To Make Welfare Recipients Pay For Their Own Drug Tests

Most people who seek out state help in the form of food stamps or cash assistance are in dire straits, but soon welfare recipients in South Dakota may have the added burden of having pay for their own drug tests. 

Representative Lynne DiSanto of Rapid City and Senator Betty Olson of Prairie City, both of whom are Republicans, have introduced legislation that would mandate a one-time drug test that would cost between $25 and $30.

“I would say with just about any employer that you apply for a job with you have to submit to a drug test, and I don't see how this is any different from that. It is not that you're being forced to submit to a drug test. It's elective. You have the option,” DiSanto told Keloland.

DiSanto told the Associated Press via KFGO that South Dakota taxpayers want to know they’re not “subsidizing people's drug habits,” although similar measures have been voted down before. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, drug tests for those receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) failed in South Dakota’s 2012 legislation session.

Sources: Keloland, National Conference of State Legislatures Image via U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

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