February 4, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to require drug screening of welfare recipients has failed by one vote in the Virginia Senate.
All 20 Democrats voted against the measure Monday in the evenly divided Senate. Republican Sen. Harry Blevins of Virginia Beach did not vote, denying the GOP a 20th vote that would have allowed Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to break the tie.
Last year, Bolling cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of similar legislation, which died in the House.
Sen. Bill Carrico's bill would have required an initial drug screening of applicants, followed by testing if officials suspected illegal drug use. Anyone testing positive could lose benefits for a year.
Supporters said the bill would ensure taxpayer money isn't supporting drug use. Opponents said it's unfair to single out poor people.
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