•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 

A04474 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Gabryszak
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to drug testing of certain public assistance applicants and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To provide that all applicants for public assistance benefits over the age of 18 years old are urine tested for drug and alcohol abuse.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 provides that all applicants shall be screened via a urine drug test. Upon a positive test result, such applicant shall immediately be denied receipt of public assistance benefits and referred to appropriate substance abuse services. Such applicant shall be deemed ineligible for public assistance benefits until substance abuse services are utilized and a negative drug test result is obtained. As long as the person participates in substance abuse services and continuously meets drug test requirements, the house- hold will remain eligible for benefits. Any person who refuses to submit to a urine drug test shall not be considered for public assist- ance benefits. Section 2 provides that this act shall take effect immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Current law provides that applicants and/or recipients for public assistance benefits must submit to a screening process for alcohol and/or substance abuse only if such abuse is suspected by the local social services district. Leaving drug abuse determinations at the discretion of a public assistance benefits screening worker may cause drug and alcohol abusers to slip through the cracks. Without addressing the root causes of addiction, it may be impossible for public assistance eligible persons to ever escape the welfare cycle, remaining financially dependent upon our system for the rest of their lives. It is important to screen all applicants in order to accurately assess their needs and perhaps get them off the welfare rolls in a more timely and permanent manner.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A11708 of 2010.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: According to the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Temporary Assistance recipients totaled 543,003 in June 2010. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates average price of a drug test ranging between $10 and $30, depending on the drug, and alco- hol tests range between $1 and $10. Therefore, the estimated cost of drug testing all public assistance applicants and recipients would be approximately $20 million annually.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
Go to top