A new bill offered by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) would require states to run a "substance abuse risk assessment" on anyone applying for unemployment insurance.

Under his bill, the National Institutes of Health would have to design a test that lets states measure the risk that unemployment applicants might succumb to illegal drugs. When states determine that an applicant is "high-risk" for drug use, the applicant would have to test negative for controlled substances before receiving unemployment benefits.


If an applicant tests positive, no unemployment benefits could be directed to that applicant for 30 days, and benefits could only flow after the applicant tests negative for drugs.

Kingston's bill, the Ensuring Quality in the Unemployment Insurance Program Act, would also allow states to randomly test people deemed to be at a high risk for drug use

The bill, H.R. 3454, says these applicants "shall be subject to testing for controlled substances by the State at any time during the benefit year, with limited notice provided to the applicant of such testing."