VIEW; substance abuse screening & assessment of public assistance applicants and recipients. (HB1789)

Introduced By

Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville) with support from co-patrons Del. John A. Cox (R-Ashland), and Del. Anne Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville)


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 drugs. This bill provides that, when a screening indicates reasonable cause to believe a participant is using illegal drugs, the Department 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 drugs shall be ineligible to receive TANF payments for a period of one year. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


  • 01/08/2013 Committee
  • 01/08/2013 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13102901D
  • 01/08/2013 Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
  • 01/11/2013 Assigned HWI sub: #2
  • 01/24/2013 Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 2-N)
  • 01/24/2013 Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
  • 01/25/2013 Impact statement from DPB (HB1789)
  • 01/29/2013 Reported from Health, Welfare and Institutions with substitute (14-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/29/2013 Committee substitute printed 13104480D-H1
  • 01/29/2013 Referred to Committee on Appropriations
  • 01/29/2013 Incorporates HB2009, HB1412 and HB2109
  • 01/29/2013 Assigned App. sub: Health & Human Resources
  • 01/31/2013 Subcommittee recommends no action
  • 01/31/2013 Impact statement from DPB (HB1789H1)
  • 02/05/2013 Left in Appropriations


ACLU-VA Privacy Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia opposes this legislation because by requiring substance abuse screening of all Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare Program applicants, the government is treating potential recipients of public assistance as criminals, invading their privacy by conducting a search without a warrant, and denying benefits to those who may most need them.