We've talked about this a bit before, but now it's actually begun legislation to require recipients of unemployment benefits to pass a drug test. Our local State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson says the testing would be random and would be paid for out of the Department of Labor's budget. More: http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=755602
I'd like to know your opinion about whether drug testing should be implemented for recipients of Unemployment Benefits - or any government benefits, for that matter.
Here's the bill:
State of Arkansas
89th General Assembly A Bill
Regular Session, 2013 SENATE BILL 38
TO REQUIRE THAT APPLICANTS FOR AND RECIPIENTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS BE TESTED FOR ILLEGAL DRUG USE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:
SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 11-10-507(3)(A), concerning eligibility for receipt of unemployment benefits, is amended to read as follows:
(3) Able to Work and Available for Work.
(i) The worker is unemployed, is physically and mentally able to perform suitable work, and is available for such work.
(a) “Physically and mentally able to perform suitable work” includes passing a United States Department of Transportation-qualified drug screen or a drug screen approved by the Department of Workforce Services as specified in subdivision (3)(A)(ii)(c) of this section.
(b) An applicant for unemployment benefits shall submit to a drug screen to be tested for illegal drugs through a program established by the Department of Workforce Services.
(c) A drug screen under this subdivision (3)(A)(ii) shall be administered to a random sampling of applicants before the first weekly benefits payment and before the thirteenth week of weekly SB38
2 01-14-2013 14:19:58 MGF083 benefits payments.
(d) A person who refuses to submit to a drug screen required under subdivision (3)(A)(ii)(b) of this section or who has tested positive for illegal drugs in a drug screen required under subdivision (3)(A)(ii)(b) of this section is not eligible to receive benefits.
(iii) Mere registration and reporting at a local employment office shall not be is not conclusive evidence of ability to work, availability for work, or willingness to accept work unless the individual is doing those things which a reasonably prudent individual would be expected to do to secure work.(iv) In determining suitable work under this section and for refusing to apply for or accept suitable work under § 11-10-515, part-time work shall be considered suitable work unless the majority of weeks of work in the period used to determine monetary eligibility is from full-time work.
SECTION 2. DO NOT CODIFY.
(a) The Department of Workforce Services shall adopt rules to implement Section 1 of this act.
(b) The rules adopted under this act shall:
(A) Drug screens approved by the department under this act; and
(B) Entities approved by the department to administer drug screens under this act; and
(2) Set out a process for:
(A) Random drug screening of applicants for and recipients of unemployment benefits; and
(B) Approval of:
(i) Drug screens; and
(ii) Entities that administer drug screens.