Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Call for Drug Screening for TANF, UI Applicants

Tuesday, November 13, 2012  •  Austin, Texas   •  Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called on the Texas Legislature to enact reforms to the state's welfare and unemployment benefit programs, including authorizing drug screenings for those applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. State Sen. Jane Nelson has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session to require drug screening for TANF applicants.

"Texas taxpayers will not subsidize or tolerate illegal drug abuse. Every dollar that goes to someone who uses it inappropriately is a dollar that can't go to a Texan who needs it for housing, child care or medicine," Gov. Perry said. "Being on drugs makes it much harder to begin the journey to independence, which only assures individuals remain stuck in the terrible cycle of drug abuse and poverty."

"We owe it to Texas taxpayers to structure our welfare and unemployment programs in a way that guarantees recipients are serious about getting back to work," Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said. "It's beneficial to welfare recipients for us to reform and strengthen our job training requirements and require them to be drug-free so that we can help them get back on their feet and back to work."

The governor noted that the purpose of TANF and UI is to provide temporary assistance to individuals and families, not a permanent replacement for employment. Drug testing ensures individuals are using these benefits for their intended purpose, and that individuals are ready and available for employment by remaining drug free.

"I appreciate Gov. Perry's support as we work to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used responsibly in our welfare system," Sen. Nelson said. "We must ensure that recipients of these public funds are drug-free and, in keeping with the mission of this program, on a path to self-sufficiency."

TANF provides temporary cash assistance to needy families with children as families pursue financial independence. UI benefits are paid to eligible individuals from taxes paid by employers. The system insures employees against loss of wages when they lose their job through no fault of their own, providing financial assistance for a fixed period of time while the individual seeks new employment.

 


Learn more about:
Governor's Initiatives »
Connect With Us
Texas Governor's Office on Google+Google+ Texas Governor's Office on LinkedInLinkedIn Texas Governor's Office YouTube ChannelYouTube Sign Up For Email Updates - Opens New WindowEmail Texas Governor's Office Flickr Photo StreamFlickr RSS FeedsRSS Feeds FlipboardFlipboard InstagramInstagram
Related News
June 18, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Noteworthy
Texas Moving Forward on Assisting Veterans
May 29, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Noteworthy
Tort Reform Means More Doctors for Texans
March 28, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
Statement by Gov. Perry on HHS Secretary Sebelius Visit to Texas
March 27, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
Statement by Gov. Perry on Federal Court Ruling to Uphold Texas Law Protecting Life and Women’s Health
View News Archive »