- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Officials say less than 0.2 percent of people who have applied for welfare since July 2014 have failed a drug test mandated for some.

Citing data provided by the Department of Human Services to The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1ojQ30T ), the newspaper reports that 65 of 39,121 people applying for Families First cash assistance benefits tested positive for drugs since the law was implemented.

Since the law started, 609 people have been asked to take a drug test, with 544 testing negative. An additional 116 refused to participate in an initial drug screening questionnaire, automatically disqualifying them from benefits.

State Rep. Sherry Jones, a Nashville Democrat, says the program’s $23,592 cost so far is too much to rationalize spending on the tests.

Nashville Republican Rep. Glen Casada says the law is working.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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