House Bill 3, introduced by Alabama state Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant), would require those receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to undergo drug testing if a reasonable person would suspect drug use in a recipient.
For an example, if a recipient enters the office and leans on the light switch, turning it off and then saying, “Oh, wow, it’s an eclipse”, you might want to test them. The first positive test results in a warning. Three positive tests make you ineligible for a year. This will not effect kids.
There is a provision that would assign someone to handle the food stamps to make sure they are used for food for the children.
Hanes said people who previously failed a SNAP drug test or had been convicted of a drug-related offense within the past five years would fall under this category.
“If it comes back positive then this person can designate a responsible party to take over the benefit to make sure that the children get the nourishment that they need, that they’ll actually receive the benefit,” Hanes told WSFA.
While the proposed legislation states that people who fail the drug test would be ineligible to receive SNAP benefits, there is a provision in the bill which gives food stamp users who fail the test several chances to redeem themselves.
Food stamp recipients who fail the drug test for the first time would be let off with a warning, and if they fail a second time they would be banned from the food stamp program for a year.
Failure to pass the drug test for the third time would result in a permanent ban from the food stamp program.
The bill has been sent to the Alabama House Judiciary Committee for approval.