The Wyoming Senate has voted to defeat a controversial proposal to drug test people receiving welfare benefits.
The Senate version of the bill was weaker than a bill that passed the House. It required random drug testing to determine whether there really is a drug problem in the population that receives welfare benefits. It also allowed for drug testing if the Department of Family Services determined there was cause for testing someone. But a number of Senators wondered about the purpose of the initiative and whether there wasa need for it.
Casper Republican Senator Bill Landen expressed frustration about the bill.
“This is one of those coffee shop bills. Any coffee shop in the state of Wyoming, you can go down to the coffee shop and there’s some old fella’s sittin’ around and they say if were gonna give our tax dollars to somebody, we oughta drug test ‘em. We are going to spend $40,000 dollars a year to drug test the least privileged people that we have.”
Health Committee Chairman Charles Scott argued that there was value in using the testing to determine if there is in fact a drug problem within the welfare population. The bill was defeated 17-13.