Almost six months after a federal judge halted similar legislation in Florida, the governor of Georgia has signed off on a new regulation that will require certain welfare recipients to pay for and pass a drug test.
Under the new law, applicants for the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which as the name implies provides short-term support to low-income families with children, will be required to pay at least $17 to take a drug test. If the test comes back positive, benefits can be denied.
Citing concerns that the drug test requirement violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, the Southern Center for Human Rights has stated its intention to file a lawsuit if the legislation was approved, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
In his ruling in the Florida case, the judge pointed out that “if invoking an interest in preventing public funds from potentially being used to fund drug use were the only requirement to establish a special need, the State could impose drug testing as an eligibility requirement for every beneficiary of every government program.”
Deal signs welfare drug-testing mandate [AJC.com]