- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a requirement that those who receive welfare and jobless benefits are subject to drug testing.

Drug addiction in the state is a “scourge in Kansas,” the governor said Tuesday, during a signing ceremony, the Wichita Eagle reported.

Under the new law, those who receive state benefits and are suspected of using illegal drugs can be ordered by the Department of Children and Families to take a urine test. And suspicion is a broadly defined term: The law allows for testing based on a recipient’s demeanor, police record — or for simply missing appointments, the Wichita Eagle reported.

It also restricts those in the state with felony drug convictions from obtaining state welfare and unemployment benefits.

“This is a horrific thing that hits so many people,” Mr. Brownback said of illegal drug use in the state, as quoted by the Wichita Eagle. “What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem.”

Those who fail the drug test can request a second one for free. But in general, those found using illegal drugs will see their benefits cut until they complete a drug treatment program.