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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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Huckleberries Online

Idaho DWF says drug testing not worth the cost

Last year, the Idaho Legislature approved a resolution ordering the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) to undertake a study of how to test welfare recipients for illegal drugs as a way to save money on social program spending.

The report is out and lawmakers may be surprised to see that drug testing may not save as much money as they had originally hoped. I

n fact, screening would actually cost the state more money than it would save by paying out less in program benefits. Because Idaho only pays some of the costs of the programs, any savings achieved via testing would be shared by the Gem State and the federal government. The problem with that is Idaho would be required to pay for all testing and could not use money saved by paying out fewer benefits to fund screenings. That means that while Idaho would save money from having fewer people in programs eligible for testing, it would lose more money by instituting testing. Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter Full story.

What do you think about the idea to drug test welfare recipients?

Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.