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1/27/2012 12:37:00 PM
Bill requiring drug test for welfare applicants, lawmakers dies in Indiana House

Eric Bradner, Evansville Courier & Press Indianapolis bureau

—Applicants for public welfare programs would have to pass drug tests under a measure that some Republican state lawmakers were hoping to push – until Friday.

In the Indiana House, Democratic Rep. Ryan Dvorak of South Bend sought to add an amendment to that bill: Members of the Indiana General Assembly would have to pass drug tests before getting their paychecks, too.

The amendment passed, 54-41. And then, the author, Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, withdrew the bill, effectively killing it.

Before the vote was a debate that had the House’s members rolling.

Supporters of Dvorak’s amendment said it’s wrong to impose requirements on a certain class of citizens that lawmakers are unwilling to apply to themselves.

“How hypocritical can we be?” said Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary.

Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, said: “I often wonder standing up here whether members are under the influence.”

McMillin said he knew the bill would encounter constitutional problems, but that entitlements are “out of control” and that the issue will return.

Related Stories:
• Indiana welfare drug-testing bill moves forward in House committee
• Indiana House panel OKs welfare drug test pilot program
• Indiana lawmakers, welfare recipients face random drug testing under House Bill 1007

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