Public testifies on House-passed TANF bill to take away funds from drug users
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Public testifies on House-passed TANF bill to take away funds from drug users

Date: April 12, 2011
By: Meghann Mollerus
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 73 

Intro: 
Opponents at a hearing on a House-passed bill taking away welfare funds from drug users say the bill provides no funding for treatment programs.
RunTime:  0:45
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Members of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program who fail a drug test would have partial funds taken away and given to a third-party provider for a year. 

They would be referred to an appropriate treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Colleen Coble with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says the measure needs to be revamped to finance treatment.

Actuality:  COBLE.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: "Without the component of treatment being made available, beyond just a referral, we will have very poor children with less money in the household and without an addictive parent."
 
Bill supporters say this measure could prevent substance-abusing parents from using family funds to support their addictions.

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

Intro: 
Supporters at a Senate hearing for a House-passed welfare drug testing bill say the measure would protect children of substance-addicted parents.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Under the bill, some recipients of the Temporary for Needy Families Program who fail a drug test would be deprived of benefits for a year and referred to a treatment program.

Funds would be allocated to a third-party provider.

Sikeston Republican Representative and bill sponsor Ellen Brandom says this bill could prevent children from being born into harmful environments.

Actuality:  BRANDOM.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "We have all these babies being born to mothers who test positive for drugs, and if they're using meth or crack, these children, some of them have irreversible brain damage and live on psychotic drugs their entire lives."

Opponents of the bill say the legislation does not provide funding for those who must go on long waiting lists for treatment programs.

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

 

Intro: 
Supporters at a Senate hearing on the House-passed welfare drug testing bill say the bill would prevent addicted parents from depriving their families of welfare funds.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would require members of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be drug tested if they are under suspicion of substance use.

If they fail the test, they would be referred to a treatment program, and their funds would be transferred to a third-party provider for one year.

Smithville Republican Senator Luann Ridgeway emphasized how drug users wouldn't likely spend funds on their families.

Actuality:  RIDGEWAY.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: "If you're in the work program and you've been tested, and you've shown you have dirty tests, it just doesn't make sense to me that that money is actually going to go back into the household."
 
Opponents say there is no funding for these treatment programs, and this bill could mean less money in the household for already- poor families. 

From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.


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