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>>

  • To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

    To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:27 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:27:34 GMT
    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:27 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:27:34 GMT

    While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect.

    While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect.

  • Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

    Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:25:43 GMT
    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:25:43 GMT

    Trump faces a slew of political and policy challenges at home and intensifying inquiries into allegations his campaign had contacts with Russian officials before he entered the White House.

    Trump faces a slew of political and policy challenges at home and intensifying inquiries into allegations his campaign had contacts with Russian officials before he entered the White House.

  • Trump makes G-7 deal on trade, takes rain check on climate

    Trump makes G-7 deal on trade, takes rain check on climate

    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:16 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:16:12 GMT
    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:16 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:16:12 GMT

    A source at the Group of Seven summit says the seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

    A source at the Group of Seven summit says the seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

Powered by Frankly