Food Stamp Bill Modified Again, ACLU Questions Constitutionality Of Bill

Food Stamp Bill Modified Again, ACLU Questions Constitutionality Of Bill

February 26, 2014 Updated Feb 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM EDT

INDIANA (21Alive) -- Indiana lawmakers have once again modified the food stamp bill.

Initially the bill would have required anyone applying for temporary assistance to be subjected to a questionnaire that screens for substance abuse and possibly a drug test. That portion of the bill was stripped.

Then lawmakers took out a provision of the bill that would require that food stamps only be used for foods deemed nutritional.

The latest version of the bill would require anyone with a misdemeanor drug conviction in the past ten years to be drug tested annually while receiving assistance. The ACLU says that measure is unconstitutional, claiming it intrudes on an individual's right to privacy.

Feb. 19 Report
A measure that would restrict what welfare recipients can purchase with food stamps has been removed from a bill by a Senate Committee.

The House earlier approved a version of the bill that would've subjected anyone applying for food stamps to be screened for likelihood of addiction. It also would have limited food stamp recipients to buying only foods deemed nutritional.

It was that portion of the bill that was stripped by the Senate Health Committee.

Feb. 9 Report
In Indianapolis a proposal to screen welfare recipients for addictions and limit food stamp use to nutritional foods only is moving to the State Senate despite questions about its constitutionality and cost.

The bill calls for those who receive temporary assistance for needy families to fill out a questionnaire that screens for substance abuse.

Those who appear likely to have an addiction could be required to take a drug test.

The bill also would restrict what can be bought through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would likely prohibit recipients from using their food stamp benefits to buy candy and sugary drinks.

Both issues have sparked court fights in other states.

The Indiana House has already approved the measure.

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