Threatening Benefits for Low-Income Families Wrong Way to Address Drug Problem
March 7, 2012
Legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly proposes to eliminate public assistance for low-income individuals suspected of drug use unless they can pass drug tests or enroll in treatment programs. House Bill 26, which has 61 sponsors, requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to implement a drug screening and testing program for applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid. The bill is costly, inefficient and possibly illegal; is unfair and potentially harmful to the low-income families that are singled out; and is not an effective way to make much-needed progress on Kentucky’s drug problem.