Alabama lawmaker proposes bill to drug test food stamp recipients

Empty shopping cart in the supermarket shopping mall. Courtesy of Getty Images.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama legislator wants to change the law to allow drug testing for some food stamp recipients.

According to AL.com, the bill was recently filed by Representative Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant).

Under his proposal, the state would be allowed to test beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for illegal substances if there is reasonable suspicion that the person uses or is under the influence of drugs. Reasonable suspicion includes a drug conviction within the past five years.

“It’s time to eliminate food stamp fraud,” Rep. Hanes told WAAY. “In order to better provide for families who are in need, this issue must be addressed. We owe it to the working-class taxpayers to make this program as efficient and waste-free as possible.”

If a person tested positive during the first screening, they would receive a warning. The second time it happened they would be ineligible for food stamps for one year. However, their dependent could still receive assistance. A third time would ban them from the program.

AL.com reports that 750,000 Alabamians receive SNAP benefits each month, with more than 73 percent of beneficiaries being families with children.

To learn more about the legislation, CLICK HERE.

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