Random Drug Testing Bill Fails In Louisiana Senate Committee
A bill to randomly drug test a portion of the state's welfare recipients will once again not see legislative approval this year. The measure, which passed the Louisiana House this year, died in a Louisiana Senate committee.
Livingston Representative Sherman Mack authored the bill this year after similar legislation failed to pass the Louisiana Legislature the last few years. Mack says this measure is not intended to embarrass a welfare recipient, but help them if they have a drug habit.
"This bill helps people. And if you don't think so then I would disagree with you. The intent is to help people."
The measure called for testing 20% of the people who receive welfare benefits. Then, if a welfare recipient would test positive for drugs, he or she would be required to enter a drug rehab program at their own expense. But the legislation failed on a three to one vote. Mack pledges to bring the bill back again next year.
Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver says Mack's bill is about perception and not reality.
"I know the people in the community. I go up the streets and talk to people...I don't see this."