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SD lawmaker wants drug tests for welfare

RAPID CITY (AP) -- A proposal to allow South Dakota officials to require welfare recipients to be tested for illegal drugs is coming back to the South Dakota Legislature.

Rapid City Republican state Rep. Mark Kirkeby says his proposal is almost identical to a bill that South Dakota lawmakers didn't approve last year.

It would apply to a number of state assistance programs for low-income South Dakotans. A positive drug test would throw a welfare recipient off the rolls for a year. If someone refused to take a drug test, the person could be disqualified from getting benefits for six months.

South Dakota's health and human services secretary says federal regulations don't allow someone to be barred from getting food stamps or Medicaid if they're using illegal drugs.