Requiring drug tests for financial aid - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Requiring drug tests for financial aid

Amarillo, TX - Hundreds of thousands of dollars could soon be available for Texas, if drug screening becomes mandatory for those who receive government assistance.

Thousands of Texans would be subject to drug testing if Senate Bill 11 becomes law. Its purpose is to discourage drug abuse rather than enable it. It would make sure people receiving about $200 a month through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program are not drug users.

Amarillo resident Angie Meraz says, "Either they're just supporting their habits or, you know, not doing what they're supposed to do with it. And it's not fair." Area resident Shawnna Kempf says, "I don't do drugs personally. But it's just for the fact of, you know, other people that do, or if not, or whatever. I don't think that they deserve to be tested."

Kempf says if the person is not using the money from the program to buy drugs, then they shouldn't be tested. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission says every applicant would have to go through a drug screening. Spokesperson Linda Edwards Gockle says, "We have determined that we can develop the initial screening assessment tool at no cost. And that the drug testing itself we're projecting will cost about $300 thousand dollars a year." But the bill could save Texas more than twice that amount by not granting aid to those who no longer qualify.

If the person has a felony drug conviction, had tested positive in a drug exam before, or the assessment shows signs of controlled substance use, a drug test is mandatory. If the results are positive, the person is disqualified for a year, but can reapply after 6 months upon completion or enrollment in a drug treatment program.

However, children would never lose benefits under this bill, HHSC would make sure the funds are used appropriately. The Texas Senate and House still need to approve it before any changes take place.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • GOP divided over new course after House health care debacle

    GOP divided over new course after House health care debacle

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 4:14 AM EDT2017-03-28 08:14:08 GMT
    Tuesday, March 28 2017 4:14 AM EDT2017-03-28 08:14:08 GMT

    House Republicans are gathering Tuesday to discuss their agenda, their first meeting since a vote for the GOP health care bill was suddenly abandoned last Friday.

    House Republicans are gathering Tuesday to discuss their agenda, their first meeting since a vote for the GOP health care bill was suddenly abandoned last Friday.

  • Company: Oil in pipeline under Missouri River reservoir

    Company: Oil in pipeline under Missouri River reservoir

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:03 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:03:40 GMT
    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:03 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:03:40 GMT

    The Dakota Access pipeline developer says it has oil placed in the pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir and that the full pipeline will be in service soon.

    The Dakota Access pipeline developer says it has oil placed in the pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir and that the full pipeline will be in service soon.

  • Trump takes aim at Obama's efforts to curb global warming

    Trump takes aim at Obama's efforts to curb global warming

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:03 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:03:08 GMT
    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:03 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:03:08 GMT
    FILE: Donald Trump hands a pen to Rep. Bill Huizenga, after signing House Joint Resolution 41 in the Oval Office of the White House i Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)FILE: Donald Trump hands a pen to Rep. Bill Huizenga, after signing House Joint Resolution 41 in the Oval Office of the White House i Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday that will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than half-a-dozen measures that were part of former President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to curb...

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday that will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than half-a-dozen measures that were part of former President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to curb global warming.

Powered by Frankly