- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not voted
Committee on FinanceIntroducedJanuary 7th, 2015
- senate Committees
What is Senate Bill S. 64?
Cost of Senate Bill S. 64
In terms of their effectiveness, questions have been raised about the cost of testing welfare recipients for drug use, and also whether welfare recipients are more likely than the general population to abuse drugs.
The constitutionality of drug tests administered by states without cause has been debated by the U.S. Supreme Court, but in situations unrelated to welfare. In 1997, it ruled in an 8-to-1 decision that Georgia’s requirement for drug testing candidates for state offices violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on suspicion-less searches because the candidates weren’t a genuine threat to public safety.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court may soon get its chance to weigh in on drug testing welfare recipients, as a federal appeals court struck down Florida’s law in December 2014 and the state is considering an appeal to the nation’s highest court.
This bill requires each state’s drug testing programs to conform with the federal government’s definition of “illegal drug” - which is defined in section 802 of the Controlled Substances Act. This is problematic, as this law defines marijuana as an illegal drug, despite its legalization for medical purposes in 23 states plus the District of Columbia, and for recreational purposes in four states.
Sponsoring Senator David Vitter (R-LA) Press Release (Previous Version)
89.3 KPCC (Previous Version)
TIME (Previous Version - Opposed)
CLASP (Context - Opposed)
U.S. News & World Report (Context)
Wall Street Journal (Context)