Texas Law Makes Drug Testing Mandatory for Unemployment Filing

- A law is set to take effect that state leaders hope will cut down on the people receiving unemployment who might be able to get a job if they'd get off drugs.

But soon many of those in Texas busted for drugs will not be those drawing unemployment benefits because they'll be tested for drugs before they can get an unemployment check.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, "Everybody benefits when steps are taken to ensure that the unemployment compensation trust fund dollars go to those individuals who are ready to work."

And Texas State Representative James Frank agrees.

“Ultimately the unemployment insurance is suppose to be taking care of you if you are looking for a job and you can't find one, if you are doing something that is keeping you from a job, then you are not really looking,” he said.

Texans who worked somewhere where drug tests are customary, like in the transportation and health care industry, will be tested.

“I think it's a great idea, it's important to know that our citizens are activity and focused on what they should be,” said Ben Oettel, a Wichita Falls resident.

“There are so many programs out there for recovery. Where I work we deal with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, PTSD, ect., and there are plenty of opportunity for help,” said Gaynell Arrington, another resident. 

And, when many folks on drugs no longer receive help in the form of unemployment checks, rehab could be the help they'll be seeking, on their road back to employment.

Texas is not the only state that's implemented a law of this kind. Mississippi created something similar last year and Kansas did in April as well.

The new law is set to go into effect on September 1st, but only those filing initial claims after this past February 1st will be effected.

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