TANF Drug-Testing Bill Becomes Law July 1

By  | 

Jackson, Miss.

Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a welfare drug-testing bill that says applicants who test positive must get treatment in order to get cash. It becomes law July 1.

Bryant said it will help people who are "trapped in a dependency lifestyle."

The law says anyone who applies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will have to answer a questionnaire. If the answers show the possibility of substance abuse, the person will have to take a drug test. It the test is positive, the person would have to receive treatment to receive cash assistance.

If the person tests positive for drugs after receiving treatment, the assistance would end.

The state Department of Human Services says 9,563 families received TANF payments last June. The average monthly payment to a family was $140, while the average payment to an individual was $67.