Lawmaker wants welfare recipients tested for drugs

One lawmaker wants Ohioans receiving public aid to past drug tests. / Roboppy (Flickr)

Ohio State Senator Tim Grendell plans to introduce a bill that would require all Ohioans who receive public assistance to pass a drug test.

Grendell's proposal would require people to pay for their own drug test. He says taxpayers shouldn't have to finance the illegal habits of people on welfare. But Kyle Grefe, Executive Director of FOCUS, says the legislation is unfairly targeting poor people.

"The poor have many obstacles that they have to overcome, one of which is public policy and this seems to be another obstacle that they have to overcome in order to rise out of poverty," Grefe said. She also added that similar measures in other states have not achived their desired objectives.

"Where this practice is being used in other states, less than two percent of the people tested are testing positive for drugs," Kefe said.

Toledo State Senator Edna Brown says she will not co-sponsor legislation.