Gov. Phil Bryant signs welfare drug testing bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a welfare drug-testing bill on Monday, requiring those who test positive to get treatment in order to get cash.

He said it will help people who are “trapped in a dependency lifestyle.”

House Bill 49 will become law July 1.

When it takes effect, anyone who applies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will have to answer a questionnaire. If the answers show the possibility of substance abuse, the person will have to take a drug test. Anyone testing positive would have to receive treatment to receive cash assistance.

If the person tests positive for drugs after receiving treatment, the assistance would end.