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Welfare Drug Screening Law Costs Oklahoma Thousands of Dollars
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- The new drug screening law for welfare recipients raises some questions among taxpayers, some opponents to the new law believe spending money on drug screening is a waste of money.
"I think it's a good idea on paper," said Lindsay Ellis, who is against the new law, "but I think there are a lot of implications of a new law like that, like how much it costs."
Mark Beutler, a DHS Spokesman says the initial drug screening costs $19 per person. If the initial screening indicates a problem, welfare recipients must take a drug test which costs $120. Beutler says out of 3,711 adults enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), about 100 screened positive for drugs. Their drug screening and tests cost the state an estimated $14,000 last year.
"The money issue is not really that big of an issue with us at this time," said Beutler.
Beutler did not elaborate on the initial drug screening, but said the drug test consists of two parts: an addiction severity index and a urine analysis. In the past, TANF recipients who fail the drug test would get referrals to rehabilitative services. Under the new law, TANF recipients who test positive for drugs are stripped of their welfare benefits.
"Just stripping away their benefits because of that is really not helping or bettering anybody," said Ellis.
Supporters of the new law say it's necessary to hold TANF recipients accountable for using taxpayer dollars.
"Some people, they abuse it," said Mark Dillow, who supports the new policy, "and they make it look bad on the people who really, really need it."
Posted: Thursday, November 15 2012, 09:34 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Obama says nation must do more for fallen heroes
May 25, 2013 10:08 GMT
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the nation must do more than just remember its fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the country must care for the loved ones the fallen leave behind. He says the country must also make sure that all veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.
Obama says that, above all, the armed forces must have the support needed to carry out their missions at home and abroad.
In the Republican address, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe thanks the nation for its prayers and support following Monday's deadly tornado in his home state. He recalls past natural and man-made disasters in Oklahoma and says that while the state was hard hit, "we're not knocked out."
Obama's address: http://www.whitehouse.gov Republican address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress
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US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.