Drug Testing Dominates Legislature
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Drug Testing Dominates Legislature

Date: February 11, 2010
By: Nick Berry
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB607 HB1377

Intro:  A Senate filibuster stalled a bill requiring drug tests for welfare recipients.
RunTime:  0:32
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The Senate postponed its decision because democrats started a two-hour filibuster.

Democrats Joan Bray from St. Louis County and Minority Leader Victor Callahan from Jackson County were particularly vocal in their opposition.

Callahan argues that losing welfare is a burden on the entire family.

Actuality:  CALLAH1.WAV
Run Time:  00:05
Description: "The people who are the complete total innocent victims in all of this are the kids."

Some Republicans disagree by saying this welfare program helps people get jobs while other welfare programs are designed to protect families.

From the State Capitol, I'm Nick Berry.

Intro:  House Republicans voted today to push through a bill that requires drug testing welfare recipients.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Just minutes before the Senate filibustered similar legislation, the House passed the bill.

Opponents said its too expensive and places a burden on children.

Jackson County Democratic Representative Michael Brown spoke about the 58 dollars a month a family would lose if a member were to fail a drug test.

Actuality:  BROWN.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "These aren't just individuals on drugs; they're parents with a bunch of children and when you take things away from the parents, if you're not helping the parent, you're hurting the children."

After the bill passed, Jackson County Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt said it was a good week for House Republicans.

The bill would cost about three and a half million dollars a year.

From the State Capitol, I'm Alex Klingelhoeffer

Intro:  Missouri Democrats say drug testing for welfare recipients is too expensive.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Senate Democrats postponed voting on a bill that would require drug testing for welfare recipients just minutes after the House passed a similar bill.

The bills would cost the state 3.6 million dollars - which partially comes from training social workers to screen for drug abuse.

Democratic Senator Jolie Justus from Jackson County raised concerns that case workers are under trained.

Actuality:  JUSTUS.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "They have absolutely no training whatsoever in substance abuse, in any of the holistic type things that you think when you think of case workers. As a matter of fact, they can't even screen for things like domestic violence."

Democratic Representative Kiki Curls said the waiting list for drug treatment programs is already more than 5,000 names long.

From the State Capitol, I'm Nick Berry with Alex Klingelhoeffer.