S.D. Could Consider Drug Tests For Unemployment Benefits

A South Dakota lawmaker may propose requiring people who receive unemployment benefits to take a drug test.
by | October 13, 2011

A South Dakota state legislator is considering proposing a bill that would require those receiving unemployment benefits to take a drug state, the state Labor Secretary told the Associated Press.

Rep. Tom Jones has discussed the possibility of a drug testing initiative with Labor Secretary Pam Roberts and other officials, Roberts said. However, Jones's proposal would violate a federal law that explicitly prohibits such tests for people entitled to unemployment benefits, Roberts said.

Roberts said she told Jones he would need to consult with the state's congressional delegates about changing that federal policy, according to the AP. Roberts told the news agency if the law were proposed, she would probably have to let state legislators know that that the plan was currently illegal under federal law.

Roberts also said state labor officials nationwide were split about whether the federal policy should be changed after the issue was raised at a recent meeting. And she said that her department had no money to pay for a drug testing program.

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