Wisconsin may become first to drug test adults applying for food stamps

WISCONSIN — Gov. Scott Walker has moved forward with his plan to begin drug testing food stamp applicants.

The plan was approved over two years ago, but was put on hold due to conflicting federal rules prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.

Walker has asked President Donald Trump’s administration to make clear that drug screening is permissible. President Trump has not yet replied.

But Walker on Monday approved a rule change to implement the screening. Now, it will go to the legislature for review. The legislature will have four months to review it.

Walker has pushed to expand drug testing for public benefit recipients. The budget he signed this year called for drug screening all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval. The budget also required drug test requirements for food stamp recipients would be expanded to parents of children ages 6 to 18.

Walker and 11 other governors in 2016 asked the federal government for permission to drug test food stamp recipients.

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