House Bill: Drug Testing to Receive Food Stamps

By Hayley Harmon | 

In a bill filed this week in the Kentucky House, people receiving public assistance like food stamps would have to be drug tested prior to receiving help.

The bill was filed by both Republicans and Democrats, and Republican Rep. Jim DeCesare says he will vote for it if it comes to the House floor.

"It's important that we make sure that people who are getting special assistance from the state aren't using those funds that they're getting to purchase and buy drugs instead of food and other things they need for their families," said Rep. DeCesare.

The bill would cover anyone receiving public assistance including monetary assistance, food stamps, or medical assistance.

After the initial drug test, they must pass a new one every year.

Bowling Green grocery store cashier Janice Hood checks out a lot of people with food stamps and says she agrees with the bill.

"They're obviously hopped up or they're buying candy and potato chips with the food stamps that my tax dollars help pay for and like i said, if I've got to get drug tested for my job, I feel like folks should have to get drug tested for their benefits," said Hood.

Positive drug test results will not be given to police.

"There are no criminal punishments but they can lose their assistance if they do test positive," added Rep. DeCesare.

He says the money should be used for its intended purpose.

"We want them to use that money for the things they need to survive. Drugs are not needed to survive," said Rep. DeCesare.

A statement Janice Hood certainly agrees with.

She said "I don't think it's fair for the public to have to pay for their habits."

This kind of bill has come up before and not made it through.

If anyone refuses a drug test, they are immediately ineligible for any kind of government assistance.

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