Hearing Set on Mississippi Welfare Drug-Testing Law

MGN Online
By  | 

Jackson, Miss.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services holds a hearing Tuesday to gather comments about a new welfare drug-testing law.

The state law was supposed take effect July 1 but was delayed after advocacy groups chided the agency for not holding a forum about how the measure might affect the poor.

The law says applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will have to answer a questionnaire.

If the answers show the possibility of substance abuse, the person must take a drug test. Those testing positive would have to undergo treatment to receive cash assistance. Then, if the person tests positive for drugs after receiving treatment, the assistance would end.

Opponents say the law could punish entire families.

Gov. Phil Bryant says it will help those "trapped in a dependency lifestyle."