Iowa Senate proposes work, drug tests for welfare in new bill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Senate proposes work, drug tests for welfare in new bill

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Senate Republicans want more oversight on the states public assistance programs.

Senate File 2158 would specifically require drug testing for welfare recipients and stipulate that “able-bodied” Iowans who receive food stamps or Medicaid benefits to work or volunteer in their community.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Tom Greene, R-Burlington, would direct the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to seek federal approval to enforce work requirements on Medicaid patients. 

The bill states, "If the individual is an able-bodied adult, the individual shall work, actively seek work, or attend school or job training for at least twenty hours per week."

In addition, the bill says Medicaid members with minors in the same household would be required to make sure their children go to school. 

The Iowa Caregivers organization as well as the  Child and Family Policy Center are one of several social-service agencies that have registered in opposition against the bill. 

The bill cleared the Senate Labor Committee on Thursday. 

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