MAHANOY CITY – Senator David G. Argall (R-29) announced today that the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare will implement a drug testing pilot program in Schuylkill County. Argall has quietly been meeting for months with concerned constituents in an attempt to learn more about waste, fraud and abuse within our welfare system.
“One of the biggest suggestions I hear from constituents at the numerous town hall meetings I regularly hold is that we need to drug test welfare beneficiaries,” said Argall, who met with state and local welfare officials to discuss ways at cutting waste, fraud and abuse. “With over $10 billion going to the Department of Public Welfare, this initiative seeks to stop the abuse within our welfare system.”
The Department of Public Welfare will randomly drug test applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and General Assistance cash assistance who have been convicted of a felony drug offense that occurred within the past five years and for applicants who are currently on probation for a felony drug offense.
“People at my town hall meetings throughout the district repeatedly tell me they would like to see serious reforms to stop giving a ‘free ride’ to individuals who should not receive taxpayer-funded benefits and instead target those programs for people who genuinely deserve state assistance. This news is long overdue in a department that consumes 30 percent of the state budget.”
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare anticipates, depending on costs incurred in Schuylkill County and future pilot counties, that implementation at the state level will begin July 1, 2012.
Contact: Jon Hopcraft