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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Drug Testing For Food Stamp Recipients On Monday's Legislative Agenda

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus
/
Montana Public Radio
Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.

On Monday, the Montana Legislature will hear a contentious bill sponsored by Republican Representative Randall Pinocci. House Bill 200 would require drug testing for those who claim to have had a drug problem in a form used to apply for food stamps.

Pinocci says this bill could protect children.

“You know, we know we’ve had some babies shaken to death or harmed and killed and sometimes the persons involved say, ‘It was a drug problem.’”

A similar bill in Georgia was shut down as unconstitutional because it added additional state stipulations to a federal program.

Some opponents likely to show include members of the ACLU, the Montana Human Rights Network and Montana Women Vote, all of whom have voiced concerns about the bill.

Sarah Howell of Montana Women Vote says a main reason they’re against it is because they think it is unfair to require drug testing for a government program when even most government employees do not have to be tested.

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