JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – The Missouri House of Representatives gave first-round approval to a bill that would require drug testing for federal welfare recipients in Missouri. The biggest issue was the bill’s $2 million price tag, which assumed all welfare recipients would be tested, though the bill states that recipients will be tested only they are suspected of using drugs.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Ellen Brandom, R-Sikeston, passed by 121-37 vote.
During a 2-hour debate, Republicans and Democrats argued about whether the bill unfairly targets the poor. The bill will be read once more before a final vote in the House, and if approved will move to the Senate.