VIEW; substance abuse screening and assessment of public assistance applicants and recipients. (HB73)

Introduced By

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Substance abuse screening and assessment of public assistance applicants and recipients. Requires local departments of social services to screen each VIEW program participant to determine whether probable cause exists to believe the participant is engaged in the use of illegal substances. The bill provides that when a screening indicates reasonable cause to believe a participant is using illegal substances, the local department of social services shall require a formal substance abuse assessment of the participant, which may include drug testing. Any person who fails or refuses to participate in a screening or assessment without good cause or who tests positive for the use of illegal substances shall be ineligible to receive TANF payments for a period of one year, unless he enters into and complies with the requirements of a drug treatment program; however, an individual has one opportunity during the subsequent 12-month period to comply with the screening, assessment, or treatment requirements and be reinstated to eligibility for TANF benefits. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/21/2011Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12100462D
12/21/2011Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/18/2012Impact statement from DHCD (HB0073)
01/20/2012Assigned HWI sub: #1
01/20/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB73)
01/23/2012Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 3-N)
01/24/2012Reported from Health, Welfare and Institutions with substitute (14-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2012Committee substitute printed 12104603D-H1
01/24/2012Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/24/2012Assigned App. sub: Health & Human Resources
01/24/2012Incorporates HB955
01/24/2012Incorporates HB249
01/24/2012Incorporates HB598
01/24/2012Incorporates HB221
01/26/2012Impact statement from DHCD (HB0073)
01/27/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB73H1)
01/30/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB73H1)
02/06/2012Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2013
02/08/2012Continued to 2013 in Appropriations


robert legge writes:

I guess if they can have a "War on Christmas" they can have a "War on Poor People".

grandma sue writes:

If someone is asking for public assistance...this is a reasonable request to make of them. Many jobs require drug testing, done both before hire and randomly during employment. This bill is not a "war on poor people". In fact, poor people truly needing welfare wouldn't be able to afford illegal drugs.

CL Harrell writes:

Are all government employee going to be taking the drug test including Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell. Make sure all people taking government money have to take it. American law makers have a bad habbit of making laws that only effect some people. Me personaly. I don't think the government has a right to tell me what I can or can not put in MY BODY.

Sandy G writes:

I agree the government shouldn't tell you what you have a right to put in YOUR BODY. However, if you are taking my money to support your habit of putting drugs in YOUR BODY instead of feeding and clothing your poor self and children then I support the government's right to stop you.

Jamie Selden writes:

I would like all public officals including School teachers in the State of Virginia who do not have to take a drug test when hired be Drug tested. My tax dollars pay their salary. I want to make sure that my hard earned tax dollars are not being put up there nose when they are at the Country club or at Work teaching my Children!

Khandis Jones writes:

Please do not impose drug testing on TANF recipients. This is just an idea that no one has thought through. Imagine drug testing a single mother and her results are positive for using drugs and the family benefits are cut. Overall, can you imagine how many children would starve? Then others doors of social problems will occur. Who will pay for the drug test? Will taxes be raised? etc. Think befor you act is the only thing that i'm saying. Thank You!

ER Dr writes:

In my practice I see many welfare patients who have drug related hepatitis, Dr. Shoppers, red flag narcotics histories. You would be surprised at the number of pregnant women who are like this. Several times a month we have patients who tamper with prescribed pain meds, a felony. I get summoned to testify in court on a regular basis. Prescriptions narcotics are 100% free to Medicaid patients, but are often used as FREE CASH.