NC Senate approves drug testing for welfare

POSTED: 4:38 PM Jul 10 2013
RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY -

The state Senate is toning down legislation to require drug testing and criminal background checks on all applicants for North Carolina's worker-training and welfare program.

The revised version passed the Senate on Wednesday and now goes back to the state House for possible negotiations on a final version. The legislation requires people seeking help from the state's Work First welfare program to ensure they're not parole violators, facing felony charges, or a suspected drug user.

Senators adopted changes on Wednesday that drop a requirement to tell people looking for help they can avoid drug testing if they forget about applying. The changes also beef up language on when there's reasonable suspicion of drug abuse that would justify testing.

Lawmakers in nearly 30 states have introduced such bills.