Montgomery County mulls support for drug testing welfare applicants

Montgomery County lawmakers may offer their support to a bill in the state Assembly that would requi
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Montgomery County lawmakers may offer their support to a bill in the state Assembly that would require people to take a drug test when signing up for welfare benefits.

If they fail, they would have to go through a treatment program or instead find a job.

“A lot of people have approached me personally about people they know that are on public assistance and also do drugs,” said Amsterdam 5th Ward Supervisor Karl Baia. “The hard-working taxpayers in this state don’t deserve to be treated unfairly like this. If someone’s smoking crack, people shouldn’t be paying for their food and housing.”

Baia is hoping the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors will send a resolution of support for the bill drafted by Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford. The board’s Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss a resolution supporting the bill during a meeting Tuesday.

The bill was introduced late in the recently completed legislative session, and it’s unclear if it will draw enough support to yield a law, Crouch said today.

“You’ve got to get the issue on the table,” Crouch said.

Crouch said he decided to draft the bill because people were complaining to him about seeing known public assistance recipients using drugs.

“People who can’t afford to pay their taxes are supporting their habit,” Crouch said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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