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Drug Testing Proposed for Unemployment Applicants
An Oklahoma State Representative proposes unemployment applicants be tested for drugs in order to qualify for benefits. State Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant, filed House Bill 1045 Thursday.
"Taxpayer dollars need to be protected and if you have anyone that is actually abusing the system, such as that, they don't need to be there, they need to actually get themselves cleaned up and get back to work," Roberts said.
Roberts said the idea for HB 1045 came after questions from constituents about fraud in the state.
"A lot of my constituents back in Bryan County have talked to me about it and we got to looking at it and we thought here we have a vehicle, a bill here that we can probably use," Roberts said.
Most Oklahomans Fox 25 spoke with agree the bill is a good idea. But the American Civil Liberties Association of Oklahoma disagrees.
Ryan Kiesel executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma said legislation dealing with drug testing and government assistance unfairly labels those seeking assistance. He said that legislation like this has proved that residents who collect benefits actually have a much smaller rate of drug abuse.
"This is a violation of a person's civil liberties. Just because you're poor, or just because you've lost your job, that doesn't rise to the level of probable cause to say that you should be suspected of using drugs. I think that that's a terrible message that lawmakers would send to Oklahomans who are struggling in an economy that's recovering," Kiesel said.
The 2013 Oklahoma legislative session begins February 4. The deadline for bills ended Thursday.
Posted: Thursday, January 17 2013, 09:44 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Habitat for Humanity to donate to tornado victims
June 17, 2013 20:23 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity says it will donate proceeds from sales at its Renovation Station stores in Oklahoma City to help pay for construction and repairs of homes of the May tornado victims.
Habitat said Monday that all proceeds through Aug. 31 will be donated to the project. Habitat is also soliciting donations to help rebuild or repair homes damaged by the tornadoes in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Renovation Stations are retail stores operated by Habitat for Humanity that sell new and used building supplies, material, appliances, furniture and other household items. There are two in Oklahoma City -- one in north Oklahoma City and the other on the city's southwest side.
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