New Alabama law would require residents to pass drug tests to get food stamps

New Alabama law would require residents to pass drug tests to get food stamps
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A new law proposed in Alabama would require residents to pass a drug test in order to receive food stamps. 

Under the state’s existing laws, Alabama residents are not legally required to be tested for illegal substances in order to apply for or receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to a local NBC station.

But, if H.B. 3, which was introduced earlier this week, is passed, an applicant for such benefits would be required to be tested for substance abuse if “there is reasonable suspicion that the person uses or is under the influence of a drug,” the bill states.

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If a person tests positive more than once for a drug without a valid prescription, he or she would be ineligible to receive SNAP benefits.

Also, should the parent of dependent children test positive for drugs, the parent “may designate a third party to receive the benefits for the benefit of the dependent child,” according to the bill.

However, if a person refuses to be administered a drug test or delays screenings, he or should would also be made ineligible to receive SNAP benefits under the bill. 

State Rep. James Hanes (R) introduced the bill, which has been referred to the state's House Judiciary Committee, on Thursday.

If passed, the act will be placed into effect on the 15th day of the “third month following its passage” and approval by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R).

At least 15 states have approved measures that allow them to test recipients of welfare for illegal substances, according to The Associated Press.