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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a bill that requires drug screening for people applying for or receiving welfare benefits.

Under the new law, a person who tests positive or refuses to undergo testing and does not complete a substance abuse program will lose benefits for three years, KMOX reports. If the person participates in a substance abuse program and does not test positive for at least six months, he or she can keep their benefits.

To protect children in families who have lost benefits under the new law, the state will appoint a third party to receive benefits on behalf of the children.

On the federal level, a bill introduced in the House by Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany would require drug testing for anyone applying for or receiving benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. A similar bill, proposed in the Senate by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, died last year.



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