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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
Names of those killed in Oklahoma tornado
May 23, 2013 03:41 GMT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified all 24 people killed in the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, including 10 children:
-- Sydney Angle, 9
-- Hemant Bhonde, 65
-- Richard Brown, 41
-- Antonia Candelaria, 9
-- Emily Conatzer, 9
-- Kyle Davis, 8
-- Case Futrell, 4 months
-- Megan Futrell, 29
-- JaNae Hornsby, 9
-- Leslie Johnson, 46
-- Rick Jones, 54
-- Christopher Legg, 9
-- Terri Long, 49
-- Nicolas McCabe, 9
-- Jenny Neely, 38
-- Cindy Plumley, 45
-- Shannon Quick, 40
-- Tewauna Robinson, 45
-- William Sass, 63
-- Randy Smith, 39
-- Gina Stromski, 51
-- Karrina Vargyas, 4
-- Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months
-- Deanna Ward, 70
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From the FOX 25 First Forecast Center..Good morning everyone...
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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