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

Introduced By

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) with support from co-patrons Del. Anne Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), and Del. Tony Wilt (R-Harrisonburg)


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. This bill incorporates HB 221, HB 249, HB 598, and HB 955. 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
01/20/2012Assigned 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)
01/30/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB73H1)
02/06/2012Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2013
02/08/2012Continued to 2013 in Appropriations
11/29/2012Left in Appropriations


Stephen writes:

I see this bill getting a few people in virginia murdered by drug users that cant legally get the money for their habit. I can only hope the victims are Republicans.

Gregg J writes:

Protecting taxpayer resources should be a top priority of the legislature. Keeping drug addicts--that contribute nothing to society--off public assistance should have easily passed commitee. Look at it this way, every drug addict denied benefits for just cause will force these drug addicts to another state where getting benefits is easier. This would be a win for every hard working Virginian. Too bad the legislature can't see the forest for the trees.