- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The state House has endorsed a bill that would require welfare applicants to be screened for drug use before receiving benefits.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the House voted 56-44 Friday in favor of the measure. It faces a final vote before advancing to the Senate.

House Bill 200 was introduced by Republican Rep. Randy Pinocci of Sun River. He says the measure is meant to help families dealing with drug addiction.

It would require people who apply for assistance under the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to fill out a questionnaire about drug abuse. Staffers could recommend drug tests and people who test positive wouldn’t receive benefits unless they complete a 30-day treatment program.

Opponents say the bill wrongly singles out poor people as potential drug addicts.

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