People getting food stamps may soon have to get drug tests

9:01 PM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A state lawmaker introduced a bill Wednesday requiring people get drug tests before getting food stamps.

Republican State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia announced the introduction of House Bill 772, saying "Hard working Georgians expect their tax dollars to be used responsibly and efficiently... Under no circumstance should the government fund someone's drug habit."

Read the full bill and what would be required here.

Under the bill, the Georgia Department of Human Services would be required to conduct drug tests on adult applicants for food stamps. 

Applicants who also receive Medicaid benefits would be responsible for paying a $17 fee to cover the expense of the test.  Applicants who do not receive Medicaid benefits would pay the full cost, but would receive food stamp reimbursement in the event that they test negative.

Anyone who fails the drug test would be ineligible for food stamps until a subsequent test is passed.  If an applicant fails a second time, that person would be ineligible for food stamps for three months.  Any person failing three times would become ineligible for one year.

Dependent children under the age of 18 are exempt from the test and would not be affected if their parent fails.  But the parent would be required to designate an individual, who must also pass a drug test, to receive the food stamps on behalf of the children.

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