Gov. Mary Fallin signs welfare drug testing bill

OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Wednesday requiring drug screenings for welfare recipients.

House Bill 2388 mandates the screening of all Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program members. Oklahoma Department of Human Services will conduct the screenings.

Under the legislation, applicants testing positive for illegal drugs would be denied benefits. Those refusing the testing would also be denied.

The bill would not allow for child-only cases and underage parents to be tested. An alternative payee may be named when a parent has been refused.

"House Bill 2388 will help ensure welfare checks are not being used to pay for drugs," Fallin said. "Hard working taxpayers shouldn't be asked to subsidize drug abuse, and this bill will help to ensure they are not."

The bill was sponsored by Senator David Holt and Representatives Guy Liebmann, John Bennett, Sean Roberts, Lisa Billy and Steve Vaughn.

The legislation once included the testing of future elected politicians running for state and local offices but was later retracted.

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