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The Republican appetite for requiring people applying for unemployment insurance benefits to be drug tested is only growing in states across the country, despite legal rebukes and similar laws costing states money because so few people fail the tests. Natasha Lennard reports that, in addition to a 2012 federal law allowing drug testing of unemployed people under limited circumstances:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked lawmakers to push through legislation requiring not only unemployment beneficiaries to be drug tested, but also individuals applying for food stamps — a particularly draconian move on the governor’s part, especially since in the few states where where drug testing of welfare beneficiaries has been attempted, like Florida, there has been no evidence of reduced drug use.

A state GOP senator in Arkansas filed legislation Tuesday that would require applicants for unemployment benefits to undergo a drug test, while the Wyoming statehouse is currently considering a similar bill.

And, as is so often the case when you see Republican legislators in a whole bunch of states suddenly taking up the same terrible idea, ALEC is out there pushing "model legislation." That being a model for painting unemployed people as drug addicts rather than people bearing the brunt of a still-crappy jobs economy in which there are 3.3 people looking for work for every one job available.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:31 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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