Many of the states that have implemented these laws have had similar results to Tennessee, with few welfare benefit applicants testing positive for drugs.
Federal guidelines mandating that food assistance recipients find a job or lose their benefits kicked in last month for residents of 21 states, leaving as many as one million at risk of food insecurity—a result that owes no small debt to the welfare reform efforts of former President Bill Clinton’s administration and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in the ’90s.
California is one of 15 states with rules that penalize low-income families for having children.
The rule, passed in 1994, refused further benefits when families already receiving assistance had more children. After more than 20 years, the California legislature has the chance to repeal the law.
Pennsylvania residents convicted of felony drug crimes could be denied food assistance by the state after completing their prison sentences, under a Republican-sponsored bill that advocates say is both mean-spirited and counterproductive.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is planning to introduce policy that would require low-income residents pass drug tests before they qualify for a number of welfare programs.
Montana lawmakers held a committee hearing on a bill that would require some low-income residents to be drug tested to qualify for welfare assistance.
A Kansas program designed to test welfare applicants for drug use—supported by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who is known for boasting over enrollment cuts to the state’s program for low-income families—has resulted in only 20 drug tests in the four months since it began.
Even with a disastrous deficit of $1.4 billion, the proposed 2014-15 Pennsylvania budget is pouring more money into an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center network that recently made headlines for “failing to see a single client” in another state, despite a significant government contract there.
Indiana and Kansas show the battle over abortion rights and access is growing in intensity in some parts of the country.