State spends $30,000 drug testing TANF recipients for drugs, nabs 2. | Arkansas Blog

State spends $30,000 drug testing TANF recipients for drugs, nabs 2.

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Think Progress reported yesterday that 13 states spent a total of $1.3 million to perform 2,826 drug tests on persons seeking funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Of those nearly 3,000 people required to pee in a cup to get assistance for their families, 369 tested positive.

In Arkansas, there were 3,040 applicants for TANF in 2016 after the legislation passed in 2015. Only six people were tested. Two came back positive. Cost: $30,243.

Governor Hutchinson maintained that the program was meant to help people, not punish the poor.

The Think Progress report was its third on the program. It notes that states spent nearly $2 million in the first two years it tracked spending. Think Progress concluded: "That’s money that could instead be going to cash benefits or work supports for the recipients themselves."


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