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Lawmaker introduces plan to require drug tests for welfare

PIERRE (AP) -- A Republican state lawmaker has introduced a measure that would require South Dakota welfare applicants under 65 to pass drug tests before receiving food stamps or cash assistance.

PIERRE (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker has introduced a measure that would require South Dakota welfare applicants under 65 to pass drug tests before receiving food stamps or cash assistance.

The proposal was introduced Thursday. If a welfare applicant tests positive, they would be barred from receiving the benefits for a year under the plan.

Rep. Lynne DiSanto is the measure's main House sponsor. She says that South Dakota taxpayers want to know that they're not "subsidizing people's drug habits."

She says that if people have to take a drug test to get a job, South Dakota residents on those public programs "owe the taxpayers that same amount of responsibility."

The measure would require applicants to pay for the test. An applicant can contest a decision to deny benefits under the plan.

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