RI lawmaker seeks drug tests for welfare takers


A Rhode Island lawmaker has introduced legislation to require applicants for public assistance to take a drug screening.

Rep. Doreen Costa says taxpayer assistance should only go to Rhode Islanders truly in need. Her bill is modeled after a new law in Florida. She says drug users shouldn’t take advantage of taxpayers by using public assistance to pay for their habit.

The bill would prohibit those who fail the drug test from receiving public assistance.

Costa, a North Kingstown Republican, introduced the legislation last week. Lawmakers are now in the final weeks of their regular session, so it’s uncertain whether her bill will even be reviewed this year. No hearing or vote has been scheduled on the legislation.

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