Feds block Texas from testing aid recipients for drugs

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Texans want to drug test applicants seeking billions in welfare and unemployment benefits in the state, but Uncle Sugar says no. At least for now.

Federal rules prohibit drug testing as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) — even as the state administers those programs.

Applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance may be drug tested. But federal courts have blocked other states from doing so, chilling Texas’ attempts to follow suit.

A federal district court and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals shut down a Michigan testing program on Fourth Amendment grounds.

A Florida law required all TANF applicants to pay for a urine test for drugs. Anyone testing positive would be ineligible for TANF benefits for one year.

The 11th Circuit Court scuttled that program, also citing constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

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