Unemployment benefits; each applicant, for eligibility, to provide VEC results of a drug test. (HB148)

Introduced By

Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Unemployment benefits; drug testing.  Requires each applicant for unemployment benefits, as a condition of eligibility, to provide the Virginia Employment Commission with the results of a drug test that is negative for the use of a nonprescribed controlled substance. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/05/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102498D
01/05/2012Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/16/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB148)
01/17/2012Assigned C & L sub: #1
02/07/2012Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/14/2012Left in Commerce and Labor (0-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Victoria Esarey writes:

Would it be considered a tax for one out of work and seeking unemployment benefits to be required to pay for such drug testing? Perhaps if the test is negative, the State should pay for the testing.

robert legge writes:

Good idea Victoria. What this is designed to do is simply to cause people to think twice about applying.

Frances Harman writes:

I first read about this legislation in the Free Lance-Star. To require a drug test of anyone unemployed would only add insult to misery. Furthermore, I feel insulted by the suggestion that a negative test would be a "resume builder". ARE YOU KIDDING ME! For the first time in my life after being in the workforce for over 40 years, I am now unemployed. I have a college degree, a Top Secret Government clearance, and years of experience, and no job. If I cannot find a job with these creditials, I know for sure that merely stating I had a negative drug test would not help. What really gets me is the poor attitude towards the unemployed even among those in state agencies. Although I found some very good and caring people who work for the Employment Commission, I have also ran into my share of those who have no business dealing with the public. With this type of legislation, maybe it is the delegates who need the drug test. Maybe they should lead by example. And yes, the state should pay for their OWN REQUIREMENTS.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Florida did this. It went badly. As lampooned on The Daily Show Florida has found that welfare recipients use drugs at a rate 88% lower than the general public, and that this drug testing program, rather than save money, has wound up $200,000 in the red. I'm not sure why we think it would go any differently here.

I like very much the idea of tying in drug-testing the General Assembly into this bill. If it's important that people living on taxpayer money not be using illegal drugs, I see no reason why that shouldn't apply to the very people passing this law. It strikes me as really quite hypocritical for them not to do so.