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SD lawmakers reject drug tests in welfare program

PIERRE (AP) -- A South Dakota House committee has killed a pair of bills that would have required people in the welfare and Medicaid programs to be tested for illegal drug use.

The panel rejected the measures after opponents said the testing would be costly and would not reduce illegal drug use.

Supporters argue that drug testing would help people overcome drug addictions and would stop the use of state funds to help people using drugs.

One bill would have required drug tests for people suspected of using illegal drugs while receiving help from the welfare program. People failing drug tests would have lost benefits unless they entered a treatment program.

A second bill would have set up a pilot program to give drug tests to people receiving health care from Medicaid.