A Republican State Representative from Vidalia has introduced legislation that would require applicants to pass a drug test before receiving food stamps.
Under HB 772, the Georgia Department of Human Services would be required to conduct drug tests on adult applicants for food stamps.
Applicants who also receive Medicaid benefits would be responsible for paying a $17 fee to cover the expense of the drug test.
Applicants who do not receive Medicaid benefits would pay the full cost of the drug test, but would receive food stamp reimbursement in the event that they test negative for controlled substances.
"Hard working Georgians expect their tax dollars to be used responsibly and efficiently," said Rep. Greg Morris. "Under no circumstance should the government fund someone's drug habit. HB 772 is common sense legislation."
The bill also says any food stamp applicant who fails the drug test would be ineligible for food stamps until a subsequent test is passed.
If an applicant fails the drug test for a second time, that person would be ineligible for food stamps for three months.
Any person failing the test three times would become ineligible for one year.
Dependent children under the age of 18 would be exempt from the drug testing requirement.
Their eligibility would also not be affected if their parent fails the drug test.
However, the ineligible parent would be required to designate an individual, who must also pass a drug test, to receive the food stamps on behalf of the affected children.
The Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federally funded program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food.
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